The success of global negotiations in structuring a new broadly based agreement towards greenhouse emission reduction will be much influenced by the extent to which developed countries have met their commitments under the current Kyoto agreement. It is apparent however that many developed countries have failed to reduce their emissions, and it is important to understand why this has been so. The paper examines the case of one such developed country, New Zealand, and the factors which have helped shape its climate policy implementation. While New Zealand’s emissions have risen, few substantive steps have been taken to counter them in order to meet Kyoto commitments. Barriers to effective policy action are shown to have been both political and economic, with the latter being reflective of issues in developing countries also.