Bridges: Govt supports 'strong climate declaration'

  • 09/09/2015
Associate Climate Change Minister Simon Bridges (Simon Wong)
Associate Climate Change Minister Simon Bridges (Simon Wong)

Government officials aren't trying to soften the Pacific Island Forum's declaration on climate change, Parliament has been told.

The Greens suspect they are, and that an attempt is being made to remove a reference to limiting global temperature increases to 1.5degC.

Pacific Island leaders at the forum meeting in Papua New Guinea want New Zealand and Australia to do more to tackle climate change, fearing sea level rises could submerge their low-lying countries.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw asked Associate Climate Change Minister Simon Bridges in Parliament today: "Are New Zealand officials working to soften the climate change declaration to be adopted at the Pacific Islands Forum?"

Mr Bridges: "No. Our officials are working closely with their Pacific colleagues to get a strong declaration on climate change from the forum, a clear statement of ambition that recognises the particular circumstances in the Pacific."

The island leaders are pushing for a strong statement from the forum on climate change ahead of UN talks on the issue in Paris in December.

But New Zealand and Australia could present a roadblock to any united action - both countries have already set their carbon emissions reduction targets and are unwilling to move from them.