13 Nov 2012

NZ to set emissions target next year

9:30 pm on 13 November 2012

The Prime Minister says the Government will set a binding target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions next year.

On Friday, the Climate Change Minister announced New Zealand will not sign the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

The first phase of the protocol, which New Zealand is legally bound to, runs out at the end of this year.

John Key says it makes sense for New Zealand to go down the same track as the majority of emitters and not sign up to the next step.

He says there is no question that the Government is committed to addressing climate change, but it makes no sense for New Zealand to try to fight it alone.

Labour's environment spokesperson Grant Robertson asked Mr Key in Parliament why the Government was prepared to sacrifice thousands of jobs in the forestry sector by abandoning the Kyoto Protocol.

The prime minister told the House that Mr Robertson was wrong.