By 3 News online staff
The Government's being called upon to set a voluntary target that will lead to a genuine reduction in New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions as the next round of climate change talks begins in Doha tonight.
The Government's already ruled out committing to a legally-binding agreement on the Kyoto Protocol.
But the World Wildlife Fund says the Government must show leadership on climate change, as new science suggests the world's current commitments aren't enough to prevent the planet from warming to dangerous levels.
"A first step for New Zealand in starting to rebuild this trust would be to set a voluntary target and accompanying carbon budget in Doha that requires real and significant emissions reductions rather than carbon accounting fudges," WWF climate change campaigner Peter Hardstaff says.
Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser, who is attending Doha, says Kyoto signatories are responsible for only a small proportion of greenhouse gases.
New Zealand, the US, Japan and others are seeking to replace the protocol with a new, comprehensive scheme and the aim is to have countries such as China, India, Indonesia and Brazil lower their emissions growth rate, he told Radio New Zealand.
However, a breakthrough is unlikely at Doha and the best they will produce is continued progress towards a comprehensive deal in 2015, he says.
The WWF though is adamant New Zealand could profit from doing more.
“There are real opportunities for New Zealand in a low-carbon economy… so I think the critical thing to remember is New Zealand has every opportunity for a clean energy future, it’s 100 percent possible here,” Mr Hardstaff told Firstline this morning.
3 News / NZN