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Kyoto protocol: how not whether

18 October 2001

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons welcomed the climate change consultation process begun today, but said she was hugely disappointed that the Government was reopening the question of whether New Zealand should ratify the Kyoto protocol.

In a press statement, the Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change Pete Hodgson said that the Government intended to ratify the protocol in September 2002, but that they will be 'listening closely to the views of New Zealanders before making a formal decision on ratification next year'.

A timeline released as part of the package indicated the final decision would be made in February-March next year.

Ms Fitzsimons said the Government was running the risk of turning the public consultation process into a massive lobbying effort by saying that the final decision on ratification had still not been made.

"A consultation process is necessary, and it's great to get the views of industry, public, Maori and local government.

"But we know that climate change is happening, we know that the only way to combat it is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and we know that we need to start now.

"New Zealand has waited years before taking any action. Our emissions are still rising.

"The Government should be consulting on how, not whether, emissions should be reduced."

ENDS


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