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Groser invite to Washington shows NZ on right track in climate change negotiations

11 November 2010

The very low key announcement by Climate Change Negotiations Minister Tim Groser that he has been invited to attend the Major Economies Forum meeting in Washington next week belies the importance of this development, says the Executive Director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, David Venables.

“The invitation to the meeting of the 17 largest greenhouse gas emitting countries follows Mr Groser’s chairing of a recent climate change ministerial meeting in Mexico City. That meeting addressed the crucial issue of recording countries’ emissions and monitoring progress in reducing them.

“New Zealand is making a substantial contribution to the global issue of climate change on two fronts: first, by leading the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, which is trying to find ways to feed the world's growing population while at the same time minimising emissions; and, second, by playing a bridging role in bringing developed and developing countries together in UN climate change negotiations. The importance of this contribution should not be underestimated. It serves two purposes: helping deal with the bigger issue around minimising global emissions and ensuring New Zealand’s interests are advanced through this politically fraught process.

“The Minister is also cannily making the right connections along the way. Mexico, where he has been most recently, is hosting this year’s climate change summit in Cancun and will have a major influence on how things proceed. He has also recently spent time in Brazil, building a relationship with one of the biggest developing country emitters – a wise move. With little progress expected at Cancun due to the split between developed and developing countries, Mr Groser appears to be assuming an influential role in breaking this impasse.

“There are those who think New Zealand isn’t pulling its weight on climate change. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Mr Groser’s invite to Washington shows.”

For further information, contact:

David Venables, Executive Director, 04 473 0600 or 027 848 2368


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