NZ must step up in final week of Paris climate talks

New Zealand needs to push for a much stronger final agreement in the last week of climate talks in Paris, the Green Party said today.

Overnight (NZ time), negotiators submitted a “Draft Paris Agreement”, which ministers will work with from Monday to try and reach a final deal by Friday’s deadline.

“It’s exciting that we’ve reached this point, but the text is still riddled with unresolved issues, and a huge divide remains between developed and developing countries in terms of who should do what,” said Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter from Paris.

“A good agreement is not guaranteed. New Zealand needs to step up this week and fight for the agreement the world needs. This is it; this is our chance.”

Ms Genter said New Zealand needed to:

  • Push for a longer term goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C (rather than 2°C; both options are currently in the text), in order to protect our Pacific neighbours and others who’re already vulnerable.
  • Commit to improving New Zealand’s current emissions reduction target, which has been assessed as “inadequate” by independent experts.
  • Demonstrate confidence in new global institutions by investing in the Green Climate Fund. New Zealand’s pledge to the Fund sits at just NZ$0.88 per person, compared to the average pledge of NZ$12.46. The Green Party believes this should be increased to $8.00 per person.
  • Support the inclusion of a long-term “loss and damage” mechanism to help vulnerable countries cope with disasters such as typhoons or the impacts of rising sea levels.
  • Push to make sure that indigenous rights are upheld by the agreement.

“The Green Party would have taken a much stronger target to Paris and a more ambitious approach, because this is the very best chance we’ve got to formalise a meaningful agreement that’s going to do the job. If a good deal is reached, it will genuinely change our children’s and grandchildren’s lives for the better.

“New Zealand needs to be able to look back at this moment in history and say it did everything it could to ensure we can all continue to live safe and prosperous lives,” Ms Genter said.

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