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Energy projection blows Kyoto emission targets

14 February 2000

The latest energy projections released by the Ministry of Commerce show New Zealand's appalling record on carbon emissions is set to continue, Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

The Energy Outlook publication sets up a base scenario which predicts that by 2008, carbon dioxide emissions will have increased by one-third from 1990 levels. By 2020, carbon dioxide emissions will have increased by two-thirds from 1990 levels.

New Zealand is a signatory to the Kyoto protocol, which agreed to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels, on average, between 2008 and 2012. The protocol recognised carbon dioxide as the most important of the six greenhouse gases which cause climate change.

"This forecast shows that we have no chance of meeting our Kyoto commitments unless we look carefully at the mix of energy sources that we choose to use over the next 20 years," said Ms Fitzsimons.

Ms Fitzsimons said the predicted increase in coal-generated electricity from 5 per cent in 1998 to 14 per cent of total electricity generation by 2020 would spell disaster for carbon dioxide emission levels in New Zealand.

"Energy Outlook is the most authoritative forecast we have for predicting the future of energy in New Zealand." said Ms Fitzsimons. "The report shows that we urgently need to look at the mix of energy sources that we will use in the next 20 years, so that we can meet our international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: (04) 470 6661 or 025 586 068

Gina Dempster, Press secretary, (04) 470 6723

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