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Cleaner diesel trials welcomed

23 July 2001

Cleaner diesel trials welcomed but Govt leadership still needed

Green MP Sue Kedgley today said moves by the oil industry to conduct two six week trials aimed at lowering sulphur in New Zealand diesel were a step in the right direction.

However Ms Kedgley said the two trials - one which will reduce sulphur in Auckland's diesel and one which will reduce sulphur in diesel nationally - were stop-gap measures and that there was a clear need for Government leadership in setting the guidelines needed to substantially clean up New Zealand's fuel.

"The two trials will reduce the sulphur content in New Zealand diesel down from 3000 parts per million to 1000 ppm but if we are ever to get our fuel specifications in line with international standards then Government leadership will be required," she said.

Currently Sweden has sulphur levels in its diesel of just 10 parts per million and the UK, Finland and Denmark have levels of 50 ppm.

"The Greens want to see the Government's review of petrol and diesel fast-tracked so that we can also set a target of getting our sulphur levels down to 50 ppm by no later than 2005," said Ms Kedgley.

"Anything less is unacceptable for our people and our environment."

Ms Kedgley said she was encouraged with the Government requesting these industry trials but said in the end it was the Government that would have to force significant change.

"Our diesel is among the dirtiest in the world and if we want to clean it up in line with international standards across the whole of the country then that will have to come about through a directive from Government."

ENDS

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