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Transport reform crucial to Kyoto target - Greens

08 May 2000

Transport reform crucial to Kyoto target - Greens

The Green Party today welcomed signs that reduction of transport emissions had been taken out of the "too-hard" basket.

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said the inclusion of the Minister of Transport in a ministerial group working towards the ratification of the Kyoto protocol in mid-2002 was a positive move.

The protocol would limit New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, thirty per cent lower than they are at present.

"Transport makes up forty per cent of our carbon dioxide emissions, but it is the hardest source to tackle. We have been saying that we need to reduce car dependence and improve public transport options for years, so we are pleased the Minister of Transport will be part of the policy-making forum.

Ms Fitzsimons said encouraging people to drive more efficient cars or switch to CNG or LPG would make a difference, but in the end, reducing carbon dioxide emissions would require better-planned cities and smooth public transport systems.

"As the initiator of the campaign for climate change in 1988, I will be asking the Prime Minister how I can contribute to the policy development required to meet our Kyoto commitments," she said.

"My energy efficiency bill, which is expected to pass this week, will make the first step towards combating climate change. But, there's a long road ahead of us yet.'

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 07 868 6641 or 025 586 068 Gina Dempster, Press secretary: 04 470 6723 or 021 1265 289

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