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Federation Welcomes Alternative To Kyoto

Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon's attempt to muster support among Commonwealth countries to back the United States' and Australia's alternative to the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change has been welcomed by Federated Farmers' President Alistair Polson.

"The Climate Action Partnership between the United States and Australia is an agreement to join resources to develop solutions to climate change, said Mr Polson. "As a possible alternative to the Kyoto Protocol, this is an option the New Zealand Government should examine.

"Both the United States and Australia have dedicated significant funding towards climate change initiatives, such as the $4.5 billion US Clean Skies initiative. The Climate Action Partnership negotiated between the two countries forms a commitment toward developing solutions to the climate change problem.

"The Australian Government has even gone so far as to publicly state its intent to meet its target of 8% above 1990 emission levels under the Kyoto Protocol, regardless of whether or not Australia ratifies the Protocol.

"In the same way that the Climate Action Partnership is not a global response, neither is the Kyoto Protocol. A truly global response to climate change cannot be achieved unless larger emitters such as India and China undertake action to reduce emissions.

"The New Zealand Government, as responsible policy makers, needs to analyse the pros and cons of New Zealand becoming a party to the Climate Action Partnership. Climate change is the issue that needs to be addressed, and the Kyoto Protocol is but one possible solution.

"The Federation is not advocating inaction on climate change, but we will not support the Government's intent to ratify the protocol when alternative solutions with potentially better outcomes for New Zealand are yet to be considered.

"Federated Farmers has consistently voiced its concerns regarding the implications of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Delaying ratification of the Kyoto Protocol beyond September would allow for greater analysis of all the options open to New Zealand."


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