Media Release: Wise Response Society and Sustainable Dunedin City. 14 May, 2015.
A public meeting is being co-sponsored by the Wise Response Society and Sustainable Dunedin City to discuss concerns with a Discussion paper, just released by Minister of Climate Change Issues, Tim Groser, on “New Zealand’s Climate Change Target: Our contribution to the new international climate change agreement.”
There is an urgent need to air this important issue ahead of a public meeting convened by the Ministry for the Environment on Friday, May 21, one of ten around the country, to consult the New Zealand public on setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target. The public are invited to make submissions on this issue to the Ministry for the Environment by June 3.
New Zealand will be participating in an International Climate Change Conference in Paris, in December, where world leaders will again, attempt to reach agreements on the way forward to ensure a viable future climate for humans and the many other ecosystems on which they depend.
The Minister’s Discussion paper indicates that we will be expected to table a target as part of our contribution that is more ambitious than we have committed to in the past. The key risks that are identified for New Zealand are sea level rise, flooding, wildfires and drought. However, the document paints New Zealand’s circumstances as having some “unique challenges” which “give us fewer low-cost options to reduce our domestic emissions compared with other developed countries”. For these reasons, it is suggested we should continue to purchase emission reduction units through the international carbon markets to offset our emissions” to help meet our commitments.
We believe that this approach will be quite unacceptable to most New Zealanders, and the concerned public should urgently discuss the range of future options available to us and convey these to the Government, particularly in the name of future generations, for whom we surely must show some responsibility.
We have planned a public meeting for next Monday, May 18, in the Castle One Lecture Theatre, University of Otago, at 7.15 pm, to air these issues. Admission is free and we have a range of informed speakers to outline the main issues before a question and comments session.
Alan Mark, Chair, Wise Response Society Inc.
More info and online submission form here.
An overview and critique of the Government’s position here.