11 Dec 2015

Carbon markets key in Paris talks

1:07 pm on 11 December 2015

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser is reasonably optimistic New Zealand can get the access it needs to international carbon markets as part of the Paris agreement.

The climate change talks in Paris have reached crunch time as negotiators work around the clock try to finalise a deal to tackle global warming.

New Zealand submitted a pledge to the United Nations in July that it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 11 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

That target is provisional on what comes out of the Paris deal on access to carbon markets and the approach taken to accounting in the land sector.

Tim Groser.

Tim Groser. Photo: AFP

New Zealand needed to be able to buy carbon credits or it would not be able to meet its emissions reduction target, Mr Groser said.

He said New Zealand needed access to markets, and if the country were asked now it would have to rely only on domestic emissions reductions, which would make it look ridiculous.

"My experts from Treasury and [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade] are reasonably optimistic we are going to get to a good space," Mr Groser said.

The latest draft of the agreement was released on Friday morning.

It contained compromise wording around the temperature rise - saying the deal would keep global temperature rises well below two degrees, and would pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

The latest text was being considered by ministers and officials from all 196 countries, and negotiations would go on behind closed doors through the night.

The French president of the talks hoped to release a proposal for the final text on Saturday.

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