13 Dec 2010

New Zealand Government proud of Cancun achievements despite criticism

8:28 pm on 13 December 2010

New Zealand's climate change minister says his country can hold its head high in the role it played in United Nations talks in Mexico, despite criticism it favoured developed countries over the interests of the Pacific.

The Minister, Nick Smith, says the agreement reached in Cancun was a breakthrough in establishing a framework for both developed and developing countries to contribute to reducing emissions.

Mr Smith says progress on establishing a 100 billion US dollar green fund is also significant for the Pacific, and he rejects claims by the NGO Oxfam and New Zealand's opposition Labour Party that his government became a facilitator for compromise at the talks.

"I have made plain in my presentation at the full plenary that New Zealand does have a special responsibility to look after its friends in the Pacific. It's no good having a few NGOs on the sideline demanding climate change action that will never be achieved."

Nick Smith says reaching an agreement in Cancun should restore faith in United Nations processes which are necessary to protect the Pacific from the effects of global warming.