US not crucial in fight against climate change - Paula Bennett

  • 17/11/2016
Paula Bennett (Newshub/file)
Paula Bennett (Newshub/file)

Paula Bennett, currently in Morocco at an international meeting on climate change, says world leaders seem unconcerned at Donald Trump's rise to power.

Mr Trump, the US President-elect, has previously said global warming is "a hoax", and a trick by the Chinese to make US manufacturing "non-competitive".

He has also threatened to "rip up" the Paris Agreement, which saw 200 nations agree to reduce global emissions.

But Ms Bennett on Thursday told Paul Henry from Marrakech that would be more a backward step for the US, than the world as a whole.

"The talk around Marrakech at the moment is that no one wants them to pull out. We hope it doesn't happen.  But equally they're one country out of nearly 200."

New Zealand was the 63rd country to sign the Paris Agreement. 

Ms Bennett said the focus at the conference has now moved to action, and "what we do to implement change and reduce emissions around the world".

She today announced New Zealand's intention to extend Paris Agreement to include Tokelau.

"This is a significant step, not only for Tokelau, but also for New Zealand and for the Pacific.

"New Zealand and Pacific countries are serious about addressing climate change at home and in the world, particularly in the Pacific where we can really help to make a difference."

But the independent International Energy Agency has warned in a new report the Paris Agreement is too weak to meet its target.

While world leaders are aiming to keep the worldwide temperature increase below 2degC by 2100, the report's authors estimate that meeting the national commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions outlined in the Paris Agreement would still see temperatures rise 2.7degC by 2100.