New Zealand Signs KYOTO Protocol On Climate Change

  • Simon Upton

"New Zealand's Permanent Representative in New York signed the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on behalf of the Government last night", Hon Simon Upton, Minister for the Environment, said today.

The Protocol contains legally binding emissions reduction targets for some 38 developed countries in respect of greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide.

New Zealand's signature of the Protocol does not make it legally binding on New Zealand. New Zealand must ratify the Protocol for that to happen. The Protocol will not come into effect until the required number of countries ratify it.

Mr Upton said, "whether New Zealand ratifies the Protocol depends largely on a satisfactory international emissions trading regime being put in place. Trading will allow countries to achieve their emission reductions at least cost.

"Unless we use the most cost effective means for dealing with environmental problems, the Protocol simply won't survive long term. That won't help the environment", Mr Upton concluded.