COP21: NZYD pushes Key government to align with High Ambition Coalition

By @vitthernandez on
NZYD at COP21
The NZYD is calling on New Zealand to get on board with the ‘High Ambition Coalition’ and future proof New Zealand by pushing for a strong deal in Paris and embracing a zero carbon future for our country and the world. New Zealand Youth Delegation

As the 2015 Climate Conference in Paris (COP21) comes to an end, members of the New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD) are urging the government of Prime Minister John Key to align with the High Ambition Coalition.

The coalition is made up of countries pushing for a strong climate deal at Paris. It includes the US, EU, and many developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific that are pushing for an "ambitious, durable and legally binding" climate deal.

They are seeking a 1.5C target limit, five-yearly reviews and strong support for developing nations. US Chief Negotiator Todd Stern notes that it is a coalition of “various progressives in the developing world as well as the EU, the U.S. and a number of our so-called umbrella group, really all of our so-called umbrella group partners.” However, despite being an Umbrella Group partner, New Zealand is not part of the coalition, the NZYD points out.

“It is concerning that New Zealand is not part of this coalition. Have the government’s regressive climate policies such as increasing fossil fuel subsidies, watering down the Emissions Trading Scheme and weak emissions reduction target led to New Zealand being regarded as a climate pariah by an international coalition including one of our most important trading partners?” asks Natalie Jones, spokesperson of NZYD.

 She adds, “We’re calling on New Zealand to get on board with the ‘High Ambition Coalition’ and future proof New Zealand by pushing for a strong deal in Paris and embracing a zero carbon future for our country and the world. To do this, New Zealand needs domestic ambition to support a phase out of fossil power and embrace a clean energy future - otherwise New Zealand is at risk at being part of a high emission coalition.”

Jones points out that New Zealand’s future and the planet hangs in the balance in the last two days at the Paris Climate Talks. “New Zealand needs to help future proof our planet by joining the ‘High Ambition Coalition’ and pushing for a fair, ambitious and binding deal to protect our children, our Pacific neighbours, and our planet,” she reiterates.

Key’s policies has caused New Zealand to be included in the list of countries considered as having inadequate intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), according to an independent analysis by The Climate Action Tracker (CAT). If all the 196 nations that participated in COP21 fully implement their INDCs and refuse to be part of the coalition, the CAT warns that median global warming would be around 2.7C by 2100.

As a result of Wellington’s seven-fold hike in fossil fuel production subsidies under the Key government and its blocking compensation for vulnerable nations, the Climate Action Network International gave New Zealand three Fossil of the Day awards in Paris.

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