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Goff Should Take Advice Over Kyoto Protocol

“Phil Goff should listen carefully and take advice rather than dish it out when he meets with the Bush administration to discuss Kyoto protocol matters,” says ACT Deputy Leader Ken Shirley.

“The Kyoto Protocol is scientifically, commercially and politically unsustainable and it is about time the New Zealand Government woke up and stopped insisting that we wear the thickest hair shirt in the OECD.

“The collapse of the Hague negotiations last year, and now the US position, reflect the growing appreciation that the global warming scare has been largely fuelled by political hype and promoted and sustained by self-interest groups.

“All analysis shows that should we adopt either carbon taxes or tradable carbon credit regimes, economic growth and employment will be adversely affected. Proportionally New Zealand would suffer more than most other countries.

“Our cement and steel industries would be the first casualties. Jobs would be lost as these industries relocated to non-annex 1 countries in our region such as Indonesia and Malaysia who have no obligation whatsoever under the Kyoto Protocol. Some 80 countries are in this category including India, China, Chile and most of our trade competitors.

“Global emissions would not change one jot but New Zealand would have shot itself in the foot for no gain.

“Initially New Zealand politicians thought the Framework Convention on Climate Change would provide an opportunistic windfall for New Zealand through carbon sequestration in our plantation forestry. This vain hope has now turned to custard and it is abundantly clear that the signing of the Kyoto Protocol would seriously disrupt our commercial forestry sector and diminish our competitive advantage.

“Increasingly independent scientists globally are challenging the UN models for climate change and exposing serious flaws.

“This Government’s reckless commitment to signing poses a huge threat to the economic wellbeing of all New Zealanders,” concluded Ken Shirley.

Footnote: Hon. Ken Shirley was a member of the NZ delegation to the Earth Summit, which instigated the framework convention on climate change in 1992 and was also a member of the Government Working Party on CO2 policy 1994-95.


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