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Influence Of Green Parties Felt In Climate Treaty

25 November 2000

Green Party members of parliaments from four continents - meeting at the climate negotiations in the Hague today - welcomed the growing rejection of nuclear power as a "clean development mechanism" under the Treaty.

While the matter will not be finally decided until the end of the final all-night sitting, there has clearly been a shift of opinion against the right of developed countries to claim carbon credits for building nuclear power plants in poor countries.

Speaking from the conference, New Zealand's Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimons said this shift was an example of how the growing strength of Green parties around the world is beginning to influence international policy.

"Five of the 15 European countries are represented here by Green ministers. Even France, which is the most highly nuclearised country on earth, is not arguing for the need for nuclear development in the third world," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said the stronger position taken by New Zealand on this issue over the last few months has clearly been helpful at the Hague.

"This conference has been dominated by the ugly sight of nations negotiating loopholes for themselves in order to reduce the effort they will have to make to reduce greenhouse emissions under the treaty. Green party members here are agreed that the resulting agreement will be weak in terms of environmental protection and will have to be strengthened in future years," she said.

"Greens are working with each other and with our governments to try to get compliance rules with real consequences, to move the emphasis back on to reducing fossil fuel emissions in each country, and to ensure that the use of forests to meet greenhouse obligations is consistent with protecting biodiversity."

At a press conference at the Hague this morning, some 24 hours before the final decision will be announced, Green MPs and party representatives issued the attached press statement.

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Green Parties Call for a Fossil Free Future in one generation

The Greens call for:

* Recognition that reduction of greenhouse gases from Annex I countries is the key outcome required from CoP 6.

* Proposals to the Non-Annex I countries which have reached already a higher level of development, also to promote national commitments.

* The emphasis on sinks and land use is perverse, and distracting from the main goal of emissions reductions. We do not oppose a limited role for credits for planting forests, but only subject to strict definitions and rules that protect biodiversity, reduce vulnerability and desertification and promote sustainable development and sustainable forestry and particularly protect the remaining primary forests of the planet.

* Recognition that domestic action by Annex I countries is the priority. Energy conservation must be accelerated and renewable energy promoted and implemented in order to reach a fossil free future in one generation. Flexible mechanisms should be marginal and additional. We adamantly oppose nuclear power as a measure in climate actions.

* Inclusion of air traffic in the Kyoto Protocol, with measures, including taxation, to reduce the rapidly growing emissions from this source.

* Recognition of a transparent system of strong compliance rules with severe consequences. The Greens are committed to the principle of equity - each inhabitant of the world has an equal right to emissions. Countries of the North must show their good faith by ratifying the Protocol without delay, taking effective and early action to reduce emissions, and providing more substantial financial and technological assistance to the countries of the South, who will need partcular help to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Green Parties and Green Federations from the Americas, Asia, Australasia and Europe (Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, France, Austria, The Netherlands, Australia, Taiwan, Guatemala, Mexico and New Zealand), attending the Conference of Parties 6 (COP6) in The Hague.

The Hague, 24th November 2000


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