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Work Underway On Carbon Emissions

Media Release
Hon Marian Hobbs
Minister for the Environment

3 March 2000


The Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, says policy is being developed within the government to ensure New Zealand honours its commitment under the Kyoto protocol to the United Nations Climate Convention.

She told the Director General of WWF International, Dr Claude Martin, today that the first priority would be to take responsibility for stabilising New Zealand's overall emissions at 1990 levels, our Kyoto target.

"The trouble is that ever since 1990 our carbon dioxide emissions have been going up," she said. "Of course our emissions are not only carbon dioxide but also methane and some other gases. We need to tackle them all."

Dr Martin presented Marian Hobbs with WWF- New Zealand's "Climate Change Challenge" calling for a strategy to achieve reduced CO2 emissions.

Ms Hobbs said one of the strategies would involve greater use of public transport.

"If you're going to get people out of their cars, you must have a good, efficient and not too costly public transport system," she said.

"We all have to do something about how we manage our lives. It is not just an issue for government or local government. It is how we live ourselves.

"Our emissions status is bad. These emissions come out of rubbish dumps, private cars for example. There are a number of things that we as individuals can do to change how we live and behave.

"We are going to start this year to head back towards 1990 levels by the time the Kyoto protocol kicks in, in 2008. It's going to be a tough call but we've already started work on this."


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