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NZ joins drive to curb pollutants

Thursday 13 Dec 2012 2:13 p.m.

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser (file)

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser (file)

New Zealand is going to join a climate change coalition focused on reducing health-threatening pollutants.

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) is a United States initiative and isn't a substitute for "the real problem" which is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"But moving quickly to reduce emissions from short-lived climate pollutants is part of a coherent strategy to tackle the challenge of climate change," he said on Thursday.

The CCAC concentrates on dealing with dangerous pollutants such as black carbon and methane, and is a voluntary organisation.

The Government decided last month against joining phase two of the legally-binding Kyoto Protocol when the first expires at the end of the year.

It has instead become a member of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, along with the US and other big greenhouse gas emitters.

Under the convention the Government will set voluntary emissions reduction targets.

The decision was denounced by the Green Party and environmental groups which say New Zealand won't be doing its fair share to reduce emissions which are blamed for global warming.

Mr Groser says countries which are staying in the Kyoto Protocol account for only 15 percent of global emissions.

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