Copenhagen climate deal draw mixed reactions in New Zealand

13:04, December 21, 2009      

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New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on Monday that from an overall perspective, the climate change talks in Copenhagen fell well short of the hopes and aspirations that people went there with, but New Zealand's negotiators were seeking changes to forestry rules, and good progress was made in that regard.

Key, who returned New Zealand on Monday morning, said while the outcome of the Copenhagen climate talks may not please everyone, the conference was a success for New Zealand, Radio New Zealand reported on Monday.

The talks ended with delegates failing to reach agreement on an accord negotiated between the United States and major developing countries.

"We want to have the rules altered that would allow us to harvest forests that are pre-1990 and replant them in other parts of the country," Key said. "We'd also want to have the position where we can lock up emissions where wood is harvested but used for the production of furniture and the like.

"In the course of negotiations over the past week significant progress has been made."

Key also pointed to the launching of the Global Alliance, through which New Zealand and other countries will seek scientific solutions to the problem of agricultural emissions.

New Zealand's chief climate change negotiator, Adrian Macey, said that although he is frustrated by the process of negotiations, he is moderately pleased with the outcome of the summit.

He said Copenhagen is a stepping stone toward achieving a good comprehensive, legally binding result, but no one believed that would happen at Copenhagen, and it hasn't.

He hoped significant progress is made in time for the Mexico meeting.

New Zealand Green Party member of parliament (MP) Jeanette Fitzsimons says the summit was a disgrace and a tragedy for humanity.

Labour Party climate change spokesman Charles Chauvel, who also attended the conference, said the deal could be built on.

The executive director of Oxfam New Zealand, Barry Coates, said leaders urgently need to resume negotiations and complete the job that they should have finished in Copenhagen, because climate-change issues are directly affecting people's lives and people are suffering as a result.

Massey University professor of sustainable energy Ralph Sims said that while the conference was worthwhile, there'll be concern among some delegates, considering the time and effort that went into the talks and the fact that "we've been talking about this for at least 15 years", Radio New Zealand reported. 

Source: Xinhua
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