How not to negotiate #1

By Gareth Renowden 01/10/2009

targetNew Zealand’s commitment to piffling and highly conditional emissions targets appears to have been weakened even further by chief negotiator Adrian Macey’s admission in an interview with Point Carbon that if the conditions aren’t met:

“…we reserve the right to drop (our target) below 10 per cent.”

As Geoff Key of Greenpeace notes, this is like holding the world to ransom with a pop gun:

Point Carbon asked Ambassador Macey about why New Zealand hasn’t made a unilateral pledge. For comparison, the European Union has pledged to reduce emissions to 20% below 1990 levels no matter what the rest of the world does and has written this into law. In reply Adrian Macey said, possibly without realising the irony of the statement, ’We didn’t think there was any point in setting a low-ambition figure.’

Meanwhile, the rest of the world thinks that’s exactly what we’ve got. I can only hope that John Key was paying attention at the UN climate conference last week and will return home ready to take firmer action.

But I’m not holding my breath.