Well, we have a draft agreement – and while it’s still heavily bracketed, it is good to see the Parties able to come together and find some common ground.
One Party we haven’t been able to see, however, is New Zealand. The Green Party is subscribed to more notifications about COP21 than can possibly be healthy, and one thing is becoming very clear – New Zealand is nowhere to be seen.
Gaining just one measly mention in a newsletter following short-lived climate pollutants (i.e. the methane emissions we have pouring out of our agricultural sector), Tim Groser seems to have disappeared over the weekend.
As New Zealand Ministers ready themselves to tackle the second week of COP, we challenge them to make New Zealand proud, instead of playing a game of hide-and-go-seek.
So, what should they be pushing for? Here are a few ideas:
- Push for a longer term goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C (rather than 2°C; both options are currently in the text), in order to protect our Pacific neighbours and others who’re already vulnerable.
- Commit to improving New Zealand’s current emissions reduction target, which has been assessed as “inadequate” by independent experts.
- Demonstrate confidence in new global institutions by investing in the Green Climate Fund. New Zealand’s pledge to the Fund sits at just NZ$0.88 per person, compared to the average pledge of NZ$12.46 (2). The Green Party believes this should be increased to $8.00 per person.
- Support the inclusion of a long-term “loss and damage” mechanism to help vulnerable countries cope with disasters such as typhoons or the impacts of rising sea levels.
- Push to make sure that indigenous rights are upheld by the agreement.
Our MPs were busy over the weekend. Have a read of this column by Julie Anne Genter, which goes into further detail about how we can show courage as a nation.
Meanwhile, Kennedy Graham spoke at GLOBE, a conference for international parliamentarians, where he was lucky to meet Caroline Lucas (Green MP for Brighton Pavilion in the UK) and Dr Jill Stein (leader of the US Green Party).