Rebuild trust in Doha, says WWF
Key says NZ is not a leader, but a "fast follower" on climate issues
New Zealand has to do a lot of work to help to rebuild trust in climate change negotiations after not committing to the second stage of the Kyoto Protocol, says conservation group WWF-New Zealand.
New Zealand is taking part in the two-week United Nations climate change conference in Doha, Qatar, which starts on Monday and is expected thrash out the targets for a second commitment period, how long the period should last and who will back it.
The Government this month said it would not sign up for the second commitment period of Kyoto and would instead opt for the United Nations Convention Framework, following the lead of major economies such as the US, Japan, China, India, Canada, Brazil and Russia.
WWF-New Zealand climate change campaigner Peter Hardstaff said that move had contributed to the lack of trust in the negotiations.
"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," Mr Hardstaff said.
However, Prime Minister John Key says the new convention will still see New Zealand name a binding commitment on climate change.
New Zealand was playing its part. It would never be a climate change world leader but instead a "fast follower", Mr Key said this month.
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.