Conference Communiqué: Day One

Conference Communiqué: Day One

Optimistic outlook for Paris climate negotiations, but challenges remain

Diplomatic representatives speaking at the Australia-New Zealand Climate Change & Business Conference this morning believe there is an optimistic outlook for the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris.

French Ambassador to New Zealand, Florence Jeanblanc-Risler opened the session stating, “the world is on track for a robust agreement at COP21 in Paris”.

Tim Groser, New Zealand’s Minister for Climate Change agreed, stating, “the outlook for Paris negotiations is optimistic and momentum is moving in the right direction.”

Dr Adrian Macey, Senior Associate at the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University and former New Zealand Climate Change Ambassador, also commenting on the significant differences between the lead-up to these negotiations and the lead-up to the unsuccessful Copenhagen meeting. “At this time in the lead-up to Copenhagen, there were 300 pages of text with 3,000 square brackets. This time, we have approximately 20 pages of text with maybe 300 square brackets”.

While the outlook is optimistic, many challenges remain. A key question for the negotiations is whether or not any emission reduction commitments made will be legally binding.

Minister Groser said “we need to avoid compliance-centric, heavy top-down approaches to addressing climate change so as to facilitate participation”.

EU Charge d’Affaires, Michalis Rokas, agreed that obtaining legally binding obligations will be “very difficult to achieve and some countries think they are not necessary.”

Dr Macey highlighted the need for a global response to meet the required emission reduction and, given this imperative, it may be necessary to prioritise engagement over legal commitment.

The Climate Change & Business Conference is being held today and tomorrow in Auckland. For further Information on this and other presentations at the Conference please see climateandbusiness.com or contact Gary Taylor 021 895 896 for media enquiries.

Last updated at 5:32PM on October 21, 2015