6 Dec 2009

NZ seeks forestry rule change at climate summit

2:36 pm on 6 December 2009

New Zealand's negotiators will be seeking rule changes on forestry at the international summit on climate change in Copenhagen.

Delegates are gathering for the most significant meeting on climate change this decade, which aims to reach a global agreement for both developed and developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith says New Zealand's negotiations on forestry will be seeking recognition that not all the carbon in trees is released at the time of harvest; much remains locked up in forestry products such as timber and fibre board.

The Kyoto Protocol did not take this into account, he says, but there are now credible systems to audit carbon stored in this way.

Representatives from more than 190 nations will gather in Copenhagen, hoping to work out a new deal to fight climate change when the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012.

New Zealand will attend the talks offering to cut emissions by between 10% and 20% from 1990 levels.