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Business Left Out Of Kyoto Decision-Making

A survey of New Zealand businesses shows an overwhelming majority were not consulted over the potential impact on them from ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

A survey of 481 firms conducted by regional business associations on behalf of Business NZ shows 96% were not consulted by officials on the potential impact of the Protocol, including carbon taxes and increased costs.

Business NZ Executive Director Anne Knowles says this is a failure of the policy development process, and the situation needs to be rectified before business confidence and investment decision-making are risked.

"It's concerning that the nation's productive sector is saying that the policy making process has excluded them. 85% of respondents say New Zealand is moving too fast to ratify the Protocol, before our trading partners, and 94% say they don't have enough information on the costs of Kyoto to be able to plan properly.

"There is a clear message here - for New Zealand to slow down and take a more measured approach to this international treaty.

"Given that New Zealand is a very minor emitter of greenhouse gases, there is nothing to be gained by being at the forefront of Kyoto ratification, and much to lose."

Ms Knowles said an interesting issue in the survey was the large majority - 84% - who thought the Resource Management Act should be amended urgently, to help get more renewable electricity plants built.

"Business is saying we need to fix the Resource Management Act so we can move forward on renewable energy projects. This would be a more useful way to help the environment than the costly, trade-endangering Kyoto Protocol."


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