ENVIRONMENT

NZ environmental cooperation with Chile grows

Tuesday 27 September 2011, 1:10PM
By Nick Smith
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Growing partnerships between New Zealand and Chile on environmental issues will provide long-term benefits, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nick Smith says.

Dr Smith and Chilean Environment Minister, María Ignacia Benítez, met in Wellington yesterday to reaffirm a commitment of both countries to work cooperatively on environmental issues.

“Chile and New Zealand have many geographical and climatic similarities. We both sit on the earthquake-prone Pacific rim of fire, have long mountain ranges, extensive coastlines, active geothermal areas, and forests with related plant species,” Dr Smith said.

“Our Government agencies, research and science institutes, universities and businesses work closely together and, through the Trans Pacific Strategic Environment Cooperation Agreement, we have a programme spanning climate change, renewable energy and fresh water management.

“Both New Zealand and Chile are members of the 32-country Global Research Alliance that is seeking the best ways to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. New Zealand also has significant experience reporting on greenhouse gas emissions and that’s why we are sharing our expertise with Chile through a climate change inventory project,” Dr Smith said.

“We also have world-leading expertise in geothermal electricity development and we are looking for opportunities internationally, including in Chile, where Mighty River Power is investing in a new plant.”

The Ministers discussed future opportunities for both countries to work together and released a joint statement which highlights the value of the past activities between both countries.

“I welcome the opportunity to deepen the strong relationship between New Zealand and Chile which will have flow-on benefits for our economies and the environment,” Dr Smith said.

Ministers’ joint statement on environmental cooperation is available at:
www.mfe.govt.nz/laws/trade/joint-statement-minister-smith-and-minister-benetiz.pdf