The United Nations is putting the heat on the New Zealand Government over its failure to come up with a new binding greenhouse gas emissions target.
A new target to reduce the emissions was promised after New Zealand withdrew from the Kyoto agreement last year, but it could still be months away.
Climate change is set to cause more extreme weather events in future and the UN is warning New Zealand will not be immune.
The warning from UN’s climate change head Christiana Figueres came in a video address she gave for a Green Party climate summit in Wellington today.
“If climate action is not accelerated you know that New Zealand faces threats from extreme weather events, rising sea levels, drought that effects agriculture,” Figueres says in the video.
She has a stark message for the Government.
“I urge New Zealand to set a national legally binding emission reduction target.”
As part of the Kyoto climate agreement, New Zealand committed to keeping greenhouse gas pollution at 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
But last year it refused to sign up to the next stage of Kyoto, instead vowing to set its own target.
Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says that work is now very advanced and he will be taking a paper to Cabinet in the next few weeks.
The Greens say the delay is an international embarrassment.
“We’re at least a year behind the play,” said Kennedy Graham, Green Party climate change spokesman.
“We’re the only country out of all the developed countries that has not formally committed a target. And we’re late. It’s time we did it.”
According to the UN though, New Zealand still has the chance to be a trail blazer.
“If climate change is our generation’s Everest I would applaud New Zealand leading the race to the top. This is up to you,” Figueres says in the video.
Groser, however, is adamant that when it comes to climate change being a leader is not the best way forward.
-WeatherWatch and NZMedia
on 8/06/2013 12:12am
Go on, let’s see the CO2 emissions get reduced, further more let us see anybody have any impact on what Mummy nature throws around at her wim.
A complete load of bollocks yet again from the Communist Community of the UN and the Green Party.
Agenda 21 and total control is the aim, watch ya backs guys.