7 Jun 2013

UN official urges NZ to set binding emissions targets

12:27 pm on 7 June 2013

The United Nations leader on climate change has urged New Zealand to set legally binding targets for carbon emissions.

The executive secretary of the UN framework convention, Christine Figueres, made the comments in a recorded address to a Green Party-organised conference on climate change at Parliament on Friday.

Green Partys climate spokesperson Kennedy Graham interprets Ms Figueres comments as meaning New Zealand should sign up to the second round of the Kyoto protocol.

The Government announced last year it would not sign up to the round in favour of making a non-binding commitment to reduce emissions under the UN framework convention.

Mr Graham says he is disappointed the National Party decided not to attend the conference, which he insisted was not intended as an attack on the Government.

The conference has also heard from climate scientists who say their previous predictions for global warming have been confirmed by observations.