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AP Interview: New Zealand climate minister says time to look beyond Kyoto Protocol

New Zealand's climate minister says U.N. climate talks are too focused on the Kyoto Protocol and that his country is "ahead of the curve" for opting out of the emissions pact's second phase.

Environmentalists criticized New Zealand ahead of the climate negotiations in Doha for announcing it wouldn't join a planned extension of the Kyoto agreement, which limits the greenhouse emissions of industrialized countries.

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says the "excessive focus on Kyoto ... was fine in the 1990s" but "given that it covers only 15 percent of emissions, I'm sorry, this is not the main game."

Groser said Sunday in Qatar that the focus instead should be on creating a new deal that includes all countries, echoing a long-held position by the U.S., which never joined Kyoto.