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NEW ZEALAND DECLINES SECOND ROUND OF KYOTO; AUSTRALIA SIGNS

11/12/2012

New Zealand will not commit to a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, according to Climate Change Minister Tim Groser. Groser announced that New Zealand will pledge under the United Nations Framework Convention along with nations responsible for 85% of the world's emissions. While the minister announced the country stands behind its existing Kyoto commitment, he said that the government had decided it was in "New Zealand’s best interests" to join China, Japan, the United States, and other heavy carbon polluters under the Framework. The move leaves just the European Union, Australia, and a handful of other countries joining the second round of the climate treaty, while New Zealand has said it will focus on talks to draw up a replacement deal for Kyoto by 2015. Meanwhile, Australia has recommitted to the protocol and announced in August that it would link its emissions market to the European Union's scheme in 2015. "Australia currently has a different set of domestic policies in place, at least until 2015, when the fixed price regime is intended to be replaced by an emissions trading scheme," said Groser in a statement. For the full story, see http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/australia-and-new-zealand-divided-over-kyoto-2-20121109-292hu.html and http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-09/new-zealand-won-t-join-australia-in-kyoto-renewal-says-minister.html.