Critics claim Government 'burying its head in the sand' over climate change

Criticism of Climate Change Minister Tim Groser is mounting as he promises New Zealand will do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of his arrival at the UN Climate Change Summit in Peru.

The Climate Change Minister promises our Government will do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Groser says New Zealand is on target to cut emissions by 5% by 2020, but activists want the target to be much bigger.

Hundreds banded together at beaches across the country, digging holes and burying their heads in the sand - signifying what they say is the Government's reaction to climate change.

Mr Groser admits there is still more to be done, but sees progress being made.

"The big signal for optimism is the US China deal. And while that's been criticised by people from quite inconsistent positions, given [the US and China account for] 40% of emissions, I think that is a huge boost to these negotiations."

However, Oil Free Wellington member Francis Mountier says New Zealand's response to climate change "is a joke".

He's calling for "up to 90% reduction in emissions by 2050."

Mr Mountier is also angered by New Zealand's proposal suggesting emission targets not be legally binding, a proposal backed by Mr Groser.

"Our negotiating proposal is being described by the US as the only game in town for the long-term agreement," the Minister says.

Mr Groser maintains heads in the sand is not an accurate portrayal, saying the Government is taking climate change very seriously.