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Valuable For PM To Go To Copenhagen - Mike Moore

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Mike Moore
Mike Moore

Wellington, Dec 2 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key is expected to announce today that he will attend the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen later this month -- a move which will grant New Zealand access to higher level talks, former head of the World Trade Organisation Mike Moore says.

NZPA reported yesterday that a decision would be announced soon that Mr Key would reverse his decision not to got to the United Nations conference which he had not been expected to reach any firm conclusions on a binding international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In the last few days the pressure has gone on leaders around the world to take a stand and force through an agreement. US President Barack Obama has announced he is going to the conference, along with other key players.

Mr Moore, also a former Labour prime minister and foreign minister, told Radio New Zealand that it made a difference for leaders to front up.

"These things are very structured, there will be informal meetings with prime ministers and presidents, there'll be another tier of ministers, then there's another tier of senior officials so he will get better access than just his ministers," he said.

"But whether this will change the result is another thing, because much of this is precooked (negotiated in advance by officials) as it should be."

Mr Moore said New Zealand's ETS legislation was flawed but the country had a point of view to present. Mr Key would also be able to use the meeting to build contacts that would help him in years to come.

"He can cement his personal relationships on this and other issues, New Zealand can make its case in a modest way, there ought to be some sense of proportion about this -- the whole world is not waiting to hear what New Zealand says.

"If New Zealand does nothing or closes down and every person leaves that would have about as much impact as stopping China for about 24 hours not even that, but it's worth doing we must play our bit."

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith, who pushed hard to get the ETS legislation through Parliament ahead of the conference, is to attend the conference.

Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is to attend too. He is in a difficult position after his parliament rejected yesterday laws to set up a carbon trading scheme.

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