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Greens Urge Kyoto Target Achievements

8 July 2001

Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald today congratulated the New Zealand Government for criticising the Australian Government's decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

"We are pleased that the New Zealand Government has reinforced its commitment to the treaty," said Mr Donald.

The Kyoto Protocol sets targets for all developed countries to stabilise or reduce their climate- changing emissions at 1990 levels.

It was reported yesterday that Australia would not want to ratify the Kyoto Protocol because the US which produces 30 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions refuses to ratify the document.

" Australia's response is a circle of madness," said Mr Donald. "Australia and United States are selfish and short-sited. If the Americans say that its economy will suffer by ratifying Kyoto Protocol that clearly shows that its economy is not sustainable," said Mr Donald.

"I am glad that we have a responsible government, which recognises that ignoring the need for a global commitment to protect a stable climate is a no-win situation."

New Zealand Energy Minister Pete Hodgson promised yesterday that New Zealand would continue to strive for limitations on greenhouse gas emissions, despite a back down by Australia on the issue.

"I am pleased to hear that the Government will take actions to achieve our goals because the latest annual report on New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions showed that carbon dioxide emissions were growing as fast as ever," he said.

"There are so many opportunities for New Zealand to meet its target without hardship or great cost. Let's just start with the easiest one: back to the track," he said.


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