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20, Aug, 2009

UN head of climate slams NZ emission reduction target


Category: Greenpeace NZ

Auckland, New Zealand — New Zealand’s highly conditional emissions reduction target of 10-20 per cent has been strongly criticised by the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , Dr Rajendra Pachauri.

In comments to the Press Newspaper today, Dr. Pachauri said a stronger commitment was required from New Zealand if the world was to have any chance of averting runaway climate change.

“We clearly need a much higher level of ambition” Pachauri told the Press newspaper from India.

When the NZ Government tabled its weak conditional target range on 10th August it stated that “In setting the target the Government has balanced economic opportunities with environmental responsibilities.”

Dr Pachauri also slammed the “fallacy” that rich countries had to choose between the environment and the economy. “There are plenty of examples around the world, which are growing in fact, where countries are going on the path to green growth – developing sectors of the economy which will be far more robust in the future than continuing with business as usual. The political context needs to be changed.”

Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer, said this showed how out of step the New Zealand Government was on the latest climate science, which clearly requires 40% reductions on 1990 levels for developed countries such as New Zealand.

“The Government has tried to spin its target as ambitious but the reality is that New Zealand’s current target makes us a laggard on the world stage.”

Greenpeace is calling for 40% by 2020, in line with the latest climate science.

Notes to Editor

Contact: Simon Boxer - Senior Climate Campaigner - 021 905 579
Kathy Cumming - Media & Communications - 021 495 216