NZ takes home 'Fossil of the Day' awards at Marrakech climate conference

  • 19/11/2016
Representatives for NZ and Australia receive the dubious honours (Climate Action Network/YouTube)
Representatives for NZ and Australia receive the dubious honours (Climate Action Network/YouTube)

New Zealand has been labelled a hypocrite, yet again, for its lack of action on climate change.

At the 22nd annual UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP22), the Climate Action Network awarded New Zealand two Fossil of the Day awards for blocking action on climate change.

The first is for "talking a big game on fossil fuel subsidies at COP22 but failing to live up to its own (good) advice on the home front".

"Today Mark Sinclair, New Zealand's climate change ambassador, spoke up on the need to cut fossil fuel subsidies - hooray!" the international organisation wrote on its website.

"However, New Zealand supports the oil and gas industry at home by providing tax breaks and funding scientific research to incentivise industry to commit to exploring in New Zealand waters - boo!"

Green Party energy spokesman Gareth Hughes echoed the Climate Action Network, saying the Government talks the talk without walking the walk.

"One of the awards was highlighting the hypocrisy that we're talking a big game on the world stage about ending oil subsidies, but we've still got oil subsidies and tax breaks for oil drillers in New Zealand."

New Zealand's second Fossil of the Day was awarded over its continued use of "dodgy" carbon credits.

"This will allow New Zealand to use surplus credits to meet its totally limp 2020 emissions reductions target of 5 percent below 1990, without taking any real action to reduce its emissions," said Climate Action Network.

"What, New Zealand? Are you trying to be Australia now?"

Most of New Zealand's carbon credits were bought from ex-Soviet countries, which research funded by economist Gareth Morgan found to be at best, worthless, and at worst, falsified.

Mr Hughes says New Zealanders want to be leaders on climate change.

"We've got a great opportunity to grow jobs in areas like green technology and clean energy. We've got amazing, smart farming solutions, lots of land we could be reforesting. The solutions are there - it's just a lack of political will."