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Kyoto Will Impact Investment Straight Away

Media release Thursday, February 14th, 2002

Kyoto will impact investment straight away

Ratifying Kyoto will detrimentally affect investment in New Zealand as soon as Government announces its decision on it, not when the Protocol takes effect in 2008, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"We don't have a lot of time at all despite the Prime Minister's assurances to the contrary in her speech on February 12th," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"Once New Zealand's position is known, investment, particularly direct foreign investment in new energy dependent projects for processing forestry or agricultural products will dry up.

"New Zealand also can't just sign up and not do anything. Once we have ratified the Protocol we will be obliged to do more than 'move in step with our trading partners'.

"The cost to our competitiveness will be significant well before 2005.

"The Protocol also requires signatory nations to start reducing emissions straight away or face economic penalties. In fact, at Marrakesh last year climate change Minister Pete Hodgson backed the call for the introduction of economic penalties if signatory countries did not start reducing their carbon emissions after having ratified.

"Before business can accept the Protocol we need to see far more information on how it will impact on the economy.

"Its totally inadequate to state the sink credits in our forests will cover New Zealand's obligations for the first period of the Protocol without saying whether Government intends nationalising the property rights in them."

Comments: Alasdair Thompson tel 09 367 0916 (b)

09 303 3951 (h)

025 982 024

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