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NZ's environmental reputation 'nosedive'

Monday 10 Dec 2012 6:03 a.m.

18th United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Doha (Reuters)

18th United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Doha (Reuters)

New Zealand is being accused of failing to deliver even minimum expectations at a United Nations climate conference in Qatar.

New Zealand failed to sign the extension to the Kyoto Protocol along with Japan, Poland, Canada and Russia.

World Wildlife Fund climate change campaigner, Peter Hardstaff, says the decision sends the wrong message.

"It is very difficult for all of us individuals to take action when the market signals are telling us it's cheaper to pollute and more expensive to do the right thing," says Mr Hardstaff.

He says we all need to play our part in cutting energy consumption, especially with cars and electricity.

"Other countries are looking at New Zealand in a very poor light. New Zealand's reputation has taken a nosedive at these climate change negotiations. We're now seen as a country blocking progress rather than helping to achieve it.

New Zealand instead opted for a non-binding agreement with the US, Brazil and China.

Mr Hardstaff says governments at the conference found it hard to agree on the amount of finance needed to help the poorest countries adapt to climate change.

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