New Zealand Government feels the heat at Doha Climate Summit
New Zealand announced it would not sign up to the second stage of Kyoto in November – a move that was condemned by WWF and other groups committed to tackling climate change, while the head of the United Nations climate change negotiations diplomatically tweeted her “disappointment”.
At the Doha climate talks this week, Australia and the 27 nations of the European Union have signalled that existing rules on carbon markets should be maintained. Under these rules, those who do not sign up to a legally binding commitment should not have access to the associated international carbon markets.
Peter Hardstaff, Climate Change Campaigner for WWF New Zealand said, “It comes as no surprise that other countries are looking unfavourably on New Zealand’s refusal to make a legally binding commitment and that there are moves to deny access to carbon markets to obstructive countries.
“New Zealand negotiators went to Doha seeking unhindered access to carbon markets and being shut out of these markets will have significant cost implications for the ineffective NZ Emissions Trading Scheme, which relies partly on a low carbon price to let polluters off the hook.
“Without access to international carbon credits, the price of carbon in New Zealand will go up – creating an incentive to pollute less.
“While this was not the government’s intention, WWF-New Zealand believes that locking New Zealand out of the international carbon markets would have a positive impact on our national efforts to tackle climate change.”
• The New Zealand government has refused to sign up to the second phase of Kyoto, is likely to set a weak voluntary target, has gutted the Emissions Trading Scheme and refused to limit cheap credits to increase the carbon price in New Zealand.