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Russia's Fatal Kyoto Blow Positive For Businesses

Media statement Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003

Russia's fatal Kyoto blow positive for kiwi businesses

The Russian rejection of the Kyoto Protocol leaves countries like New Zealand up in the air with energy and other investors potentially affected by it, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"Russia's announcement today on the Kyoto Protocol is a fatal blow to the agreement in its present form," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"The announcement has put the Greens in a panic though it means New Zealand is back on a level playing field with foreign investors.

"Though kiwi businesses value our clean, green reputation highly, Kyoto rankled because it would have added carbon taxes and other compliance costs that our main trading partners, including Australia and the US, were not obliged to contend with.

"The competitiveness of our traders, especially exporters, was under significant threat. Though the Protocol was not due for implementation until 2008, investment decisions affecting New Zealand were already being made in view of our Kyoto position.

"New Zealand should benefit from the return to a more certain investment environment required by offshore investors.

"With the seriously flawed Kyoto agreement sidelined, Government needs to communicate urgently and clearly where to from here.

"A re-think from first principles is called for on the Kyoto agreement that New Zealand rushed to ratify at extensive cost to investment in our productivity."

ENDS

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