I’m proud to be a Kiwi, and I’ve always enjoyed celebrating the successes of our tiny country. It’s not often that I feel ashamed of our role in the world. But our National Government’s position on greenhouse gas emissions is a disgrace. It’s not just that our emissions reduction target is too low, it’s that we know it’s too low, and we’re expecting others to carry the can for us:
Auckland 12 August 2009 – Greenpeace has welcomed the New Zealand Government’s admission that developed countries as a whole must cut emissions by close to 40% by 2020. “Finally the Government is endorsing the international science on which Sign On is based; John Key needs to put his target where his mouth is,” said Greenpeace Political Adviser Geoff Keey from Bonn.
Overnight, New Zealand told delegates from 190 countries in Bonn that the Government’s emissions reduction target of 10-20% below 1990 levels is dependent on developed countries as a whole cutting their emissions to 30-40% below 1990 levels.
“My jaw hit the floor,” said Geoff Keey, who was in the meeting at the time. “New Zealand has effectively told the rest of the developed world that if they work really hard to reduce their emissions by up to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, we’ll do half of that.
Since when did New Zealand do half it’s share? Since when did reporters call on us to walk away from our obligations like this?:
Labour says the government isn’t being ambitious enough. How much more does Labour think the public is willing to pay to meet New Zealand’s climate change obligations, given we represent just 0.2% of the world’s emissions?
If they are New Zealand’s obligations who the hell else should meet them? Other countries are now asking us: “Will New Zealand name the countries it expects to do its share of the effort in its place?”. Fair question don’t you think?