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New Zealand pushing flexibility in climate change talks

Xinhua, April 15, 2015 Adjust font size:

New Zealand will be pushing for more flexible emissions targets at climate change talks involving the world's major economies in Washington this week, Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser said on Wednesday.

Groser said he had been invited to participate in the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change (MEF) at the invitation of U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern.

The MEF draws together ministerial representatives of the world' s largest emitters and has invited observers in a bid to accelerate progress in negotiation of the future climate change agreement due to conclude in Paris in December.

"The MEF is the most important forum to prepare the ground for deals on the tough issues needing resolution in the new agreement, " Groser said in a statement.

"New Zealand's ideas on 'bounded flexibility' and our proposal for the legal form of commitments under the agreement have had a good airing there, laying the foundations for a politically feasible and environmentally effective outcome."

Bounded flexibility -- based on the premise that an overly rigid rules structure could deter parties from participating in a new agreement -- involves flexibility within parameters.

"I am confident we are going to reach an agreement in Paris at the end of the year under the leadership of France," said Groser.

In Washington, Groser would also participate in the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings, in order to promote the launch of an international communique giving fresh momentum to global efforts to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Endi