Decision to go to Copenhagen the easy part

Press release - December 2, 2009
Greenpeace says John Key has made the right decision to attend the Copenhagen climate talks, but is warning him against relying on New Zealand’s current climate policies as a figleaf.

The Prime Minister has bowed to domestic and international pressure and will go to Denmark for the leaders' meeting.

"He has made the right decision," said Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer. "Copenhagen is one of the most important meetings of our time. It's what's going to make or break the world's ability to prevent catastrophic climate change. Not going to represent New Zealand would have had a significant negative impact on the country's international reputation."

However Greenpeace warned that the Prime Minister needs to treat the meeting as more than a photo opportunity and be willing to reassess New Zealand's emissions reduction commitments if he's to be taken seriously.

"At the moment New Zealand has an embarrassingly weak ETS and a highly conditional emissions reduction target (10-20%) that's well below what scientists say is necessary for a country like New Zealand.

"The decision to go was the easy bit and now the hard work begins. A solid agreement from Copenhagen is going to take serious commitment from all world leaders.

"John Key must seize the chance to demonstrate that New Zealand is serious about doing its fair share. The science is clear, developed countries like New Zealand must commit to a 40% by 2020 emissions reduction target at Copenhagen."

Greenpeace is holding a series of send offs for the New Zealand delegation and John Key this Saturday. They will call on our negotiators to do the right thing and commit to 40% by 2020. See for more information.

Other contacts: Simon Boxer – Senior Climate Campaigner - 021 905579 Kathy Cumming – Media and Communications - 021 495 216