By 3 News online staff
New Zealand has been accused of “hampering” the progress of UN climate change talks in Doha.
The New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD) is in Doha, Qatar for the conference, which started yesterday, and has received two Fossil of the Day awards – awards given to “nations most actively hampering international progress” by international NGO the Climate Action Network (CAN).
The awards are related to New Zealand’s decision not to continue its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, and its decision to reveal a voluntary climate change pledge next year rather than at the current talks.
CAN says New Zealand has run "away from a legally binding, multilateral rules based regime".
"You still have a chance to support the only legally binding regime and commit to ambitious targets for the second commitment period," the organisation told New Zealand. "Its island partners in the Pacific should think again before ever trusting New Zealand again."
Earlier this month Climate Change Minister Tim Groser announced that the Government would not sign up for the second commitment period of Kyoto, and would instead opt for the UN’s Convention Framework.
NZYD spokesman Simon Tapp says the team was dismayed to receive the Fossil awards in Doha.
“We called New Zealand out on this embarrassing, short-sighted and irresponsible action three weeks ago, and now the whole world is doing the same.”
He says New Zealand’s reputation is at risk at the talks with the Philippines and some Pacific Island states criticising New Zealand’s lack of participation within Kyoto.
“New Zealand’s lack of any target is an embarrassment,” Mr Tapp says. “We urgently need to take our place as a developed Annex 1 nation and recommit to a fair, ambitious, and binding second Kyoto commitment.”
The conference lasts two weeks.