10 Dec 2012

WWF says NZ position on Kyoto Protocol a let-down

4:52 am on 10 December 2012

The World Wildlife Fund says New Zealand will pay a price for failing to renew its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.

A United Nations meeting in Doha has voted to extend the global warming pact for another eight years, just 23 days ahead of its official expiry at the end of this year.

About 200 countries voted for the extension; New Zealand joined Canada, Japan and Russia in voting against.

WWF campaigner Peter Hardstaff says many countries that support Kyoto will be bitterly disappointed with New Zealand's stand, which could see the country locked out of the carbon trading market from 2015.

He says other countries have looked to New Zealand to back environmentally friendly international treaties, but in Doha, the country has failed to deliver even minimum expectations for the UN climate negotiations.

Mr Hardstaff says it could increase the price of carbon in New Zealand because buyers in the market in New Zealand won't have access to cheap credits from overseas.

The Kyoto Protocol, which excludes major developing polluters such as China and India, as well as the United States which refuses to ratify it, will cover only 14% of global emissions.

Small island states are criticising the talks saying they'll disappear if more isn't done to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The ABC reports that environmental groups generally have described the outcome as weak and disappointing.

M J Mace from the Alliance of Small Island States says she's frustrated that so little has been achieved.

She says a number of the states in the alliance are only two or three metres above sea-level and it's difficult to listen to the 'talk-shop' and come away with so little.

Scorn poured on NZ critics in Doha

New Zealand's Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says New Zealand will be working on a new deal to replace Kyoto by 2015.

Mr Groser scorned critics who awarded New Zealand and Canada the title of Colossal Fossil for their position on the Kyoto protocol calling the award a futile stunt.

He says that on the same day as his staff got a ludicrous award, the World Energy Council told him New Zealand has the sixth most sustainable energy system in the world.

Mr Groser says critics ignore the risk to the environment from developing states.

He says the belief that developed states are evil and countries in the developing world are benign is misplaced.

Mr Groser thinks the world needs to change its focus if it wants to make a real impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

He says New Zealand, Canada, Japan and other states think that extending Kyoto will be ineffective because emissions from the developed nations signing up to a new Kyoto have fallen to 14% of total emissions.