At 7:30pm on 12 December 2015, the Paris Climate Agreement was officially adopted by the parties. NZYD believes that the Agreement is a small step in the right direction, and have released the following press statement about the “Paris Moment”.

The New Zealand Youth Delegation is saying that the Paris Agreement ‘takes an inch forward, but miles more needed’. The two week climate change talks were a chance for governments to accelerate the transition to a safe, clean energy future that is already underway. However, the agreement concluded on Saturday evening failed to match the ambition being demonstrated by communities and businesses around the world and left observers asking for more.

“This is a historic moment where all countries around our planet have recognized the need to bestow a safe and liveable climate for young and future generations. There are positive aspects of the deal, including the recognition of a safer 1.5 limit and the review mechanisms for monitoring and increasing countries’ climate ambition. This “Paris Moment” has been made possible thanks to the work of the climate movement around the world – communities and businesses coming together to take the reigns of leadership where governments would not,’” said New Zealand Youth Delegation Spokesperson Ben Abraham. Read Full Article →

With red lines and high tides, the mood here at the Paris climate negotiations is getting intense. It ain’t no ordinary life. But youth worldwide say: “Let’s agree to saving lives.”

The Paris draft agreement text has just dropped, so we thought we’d drop RED LINES, our new single.

With huge thanks to Six60’s “White Lines“, and the beautiful international youth climate movement. No matter how bad things get, we still know how to dance, how to have fun, and how to love.

In the spirit of friendly cooperation underpinning COP21, New Zealand spent the first few days of the Paris conference providing some helpful lessons in the art of climate negotiation. Here are NZYD’s key takeaways from New Zealand’s, ahem, masterful opening performance.

(1) Be fearless! New Zealand boldly lead an international communiqué for fossil fuel subsidy reform, despite spending over $80 million annually on fossil fuel tax breaks, industry support, and supply-side subsidies. Breathtakingly audacious, and rewarded with COP21’s first Fossil of the Day.

(2) Be ambitious! New Zealand has just declared it will ratify the Doha Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol. This ambitious decision to ensure New Zealand is eligible for Kyoto’s offsetting flexibility mechanisms is matched only by New Zealand’s equally ambitious commitment in 2012 to stay “ahead of the curve” by abandoning Kyoto.

(3) Don’t show your hand! Deceit and distraction are negotiators’ best friends. New Zealand’s entertaining COP21 strategy paper, Operation: Pull the Wool, outlines how to make climate commitments which do not commit you to anything at all. In NZYD’s view, it is highly unfortunate that this top-secret paper was leaked.

Winston Churchill once said that the art of diplomacy is how to tell people to go to hell in such a manner that they ask for directions. First-time negotiators at COP21 would be wise to learn as much as possible from New Zealand.

The New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD) welcomes the Prime Minister’s recent comments on fossil fuel subsidy reform as a necessary first step towards the phase out, and elimination of all fossil fuel subsidies but challenge the PM to live up to his rhetoric.

“We applaud the Prime Minister’s new found commitment on New Zealand being a leader on fossil fuel subsidy reform but ask him to apply this commitment to eliminating all tax breaks, industry support and other subsidies for the oil, gas and fossil fuel industry in New Zealand.” said NZYD spokesperson Francisco Hernandez in response to the Prime Minister’s comments at COP21 earlier today.

Read Full Article →

Today, at the first full day of the UN climate talks COP21, something quite unexpected happened.

We saw a document, just lying around on the floor, looking a bit sheepish.

So we picked it up.

Turns out it was, a top-secret government negotiating brief – never before seen by the public.

It’s clear the New Zealand government is planning to #PullTheWool over the eyes of everyone here at the UN conference – both other country delegations, and civil society.

Read the full document here.

Here’s an exclusive excerpt:

“VISION

New Zealand must get a deal in Paris that will allow us to continue with business as usual, and shift all responsibility to bigger and badder countries.

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Today we headed to the Le Bourget venue to get our accreditation for COP21. Our team has grown in number, with the addition of Natalie and Sudhvir who joined this weekend. The venue is close to our accommodation by train and there are shuttle buses to save the 30minute walk from the station to the venue.

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On our way out of the venue, Nat and Anna gave an interview for French TV about our experience getting accreditation and any issues with security since we had been in France.

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We are very excited to begin our COP journey tomorrow!!

Lisa

No seriously! The NZYD crew got to the 11th Conference of Youth (COY 11) and now I can’t find them!

NZYD

However, stalking them on Twitter I’ve found they have been attending a wide variety of different workshops and speaking events over the past three days with the thousands of other youth attending the conference in Paris.

COY is a youth driven and facilitated conference which takes place in the lead up to the UN climate change conference (COP) each year. My first experience of a COY was in Warsaw, Poland before COP19. That COY was combined with an Eastern Europe Power Shift and was much smaller than the Paris COY, which made it easier to navigate and understand what was going on.

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NZYD delegates Fran, Lisa & James were interviewed by Veronika Meduna of Radio NZ prior to their departure to Paris for COP21.

The interview appeared on Veronika’s Radio NZ science program, “Our Changing World”. You can listen to the full 15min podcast here.

In the interview with Veronika, delegate Lisa McLaren says NZYD discussed the recent attacks in Paris but everybody was determined to go anyway because the issue was too important: “This is something that will impact everyday New Zealanders, whether it will be through higher cost of importing products or issues around climate migrants. This will impact everybody.”

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