Climate groups are crying foul, saying New Zealand is making some ridiculous comments.
Climate groups are up in arms with New Zealand, calling its leaders hypocrites.
New Zealand apparently spent $80 million on subsidies to oil, coal, and gas companies, all while Prime Minister John Key said during a speech in Paris that the country would show leadership on ending fossil fuel subsidies, according to a Telegraph Times report.
During the UN Paris Climate Talks, Key apparently boasted of “world-leading research” that can reduce global emissions in developing countries similar to New Zealand.
“Alliance is doing some great work and I’m pleased to announce that New Zealand will boost its funding by $20 million over four years, to capitalise on some new research to reduce methane emissions,” he said according to the report. “The sooner we have technology available, the sooner farmers can start using it to further reduce emissions both in New Zealand and in other countries.”
The comments earned him the so-called “Fossil of the Day Award,” a sarcastic “prize” from the Climate Action Network International, which is a coalition of environmental organizations.
“Prime Minister John Key showed a degree of hypocrisy by claiming, at a Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform event, that New Zealand is a leader on fossil fuel subsidy abolition – despite the country’s fossil fuel production subsidies have increasing seven-fold since his election in 2008,” the organization said in a statement. “His phoney grandstanding came just a week after claiming that New Zealand ‘doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be a leader in climate change’. Are you getting mixed signals too? Or is it just us?”
The talks in Paris represent the first global effort by world leaders to come to some consensus on what to do about climate change. However, they will have to figure out how to get around problems of how to share the burden and who is going to take an economic hit in order to avoid environmental catastrophe down the road — a thorny situation indeed.