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September 2002 Target To Ratify Kyoto Protocol

New Zealand intends to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in September 2002, Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change Pete Hodgson said today.

In a lunchtime speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Wellington Mr Hodgson said the agreement achieved at the recent World Conference on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, made it possible for New Zealand to proceed with the development of the domestic policy programme necessary for ratification.

"With the key elements of the Protocol’s rules finalised in Bonn we now have the certainty that enables us to move to ratification," Mr Hodgson said. "Our intention therefore is to work towards having legislation passed by Parliament later next year that enables New Zealand to ratify the Protocol in September 2002."

Mr Hodgson said the Government would be consulting widely on a proposed mix of policy options to enable ratification. He urged the business community to be alert to the opportunities opened up for New Zealand by the Protocol.

"Clinging to an economy of wasteful use of energy is not the way of the future. Nimble businesses that keep their competitive edge by creating or embracing innovation and new technologies are the ones that survive in the new economy. The Kyoto Protocol creates pressures in favour of that kind of business.

"New Zealand business must respond to those pressures — not least because doing so will pay off. Of course we must have one eye on the risks. But we must have the other on the opportunities, because that way lies the future."

September 2002 is the date for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, usually referred to as Rio+10 — the ten-year review meeting following the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

Ends

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