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Certainty Sought In Climate Change Policy

Federation Seeks Certainty In Climate Change Policy

22 November 2001

The National Council meeting of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) has reached a clear decision that the Government should not ratify the Kyoto Protocol until New Zealand's preferred policy options have been finalised to ensure a robust analysis of the costs and benefits of climate change.

"The Federation is not advocating inaction in addressing the problems climate change will present," said Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson. The Federation is advocating action that is better informed and will provide more certain results.

"There is no point rushing into high cost, low impact action where a more cautious approach could allow time to develop low cost, high impact options to reduce the negative effects of climate change.

"For a nation that exports 80% of its agricultural products it would be foolish to ratify the Protocol before our key trading competitors.

"The Federation is concerned that the Government is consulting on Climate Change policy when they have not developed a preferred policy position. It is vital that the public understand the preferred policy options in order to reach concrete conclusions. The public need to be aware of the impact of ratification, to participate in an informed debate on the issues.

"As the major contributor to New Zealand's green house gas emissions, the agricultural sector must be confident that uncertainties in measuring and reducing agricultural green house gas emissions are reduced.

"The Minister seems to be pinning his hopes on research delivering solutions to reduce agricultural emissions. A recent report commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry suggests that significant work needs to be done before research provides worth while solutions.

"Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol before clearly outlining the policy options of meeting New Zealand's obligations under the Protocol is not acceptable and flies in the face of rational policy making. Given the importance of this issue to all New Zealanders it is vital that the public understand the full range of costs and opportunities," Mr Polson concluded.


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