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Govt Needs Quality Submissions On Climate Change

Tuesday, 11 December 2001 Media Statement

New Zealanders are being urged to make good use of the time remaining for submissions to the Government in the first phase of consultation on climate change policy.

Pete Hodgson, Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, says it is vital that the business community in particular provides information that helps the Government make quality decisions.

The third and final “climate summit” in the public consultation programme takes place at the Aotea Centre in Auckland tomorrow. The summits give interested parties the opportunity to present their views on climate change policy directly to officials and the minister.

Submissions in response to the discussion paper Kyoto Protocol: Ensuring our Future (available from www.climatechange.govt.nz) are sought by 21 December. There will be a second round of public consultation next year following the Government’s release of a preferred policy package by March.

“If the Government is to get climate change policy right, we need the best submissions we can get,” Mr Hodgson said. “It is very important that we receive information we can use, not just rhetoric and posturing.

“We are confronting a complex and global problem. The public policy to tackle it will reach far across the economy and must work far into the future. The Government is under no illusions about the scale of that challenge. We understand the risks and we have committed considerable resources to the policy process.

“In the consultation document we have asked careful and specific questions, because we need to hear considered views about domestic policy options. If we are to maximise benefits and minimise costs, we must have the engagement of the business community. And the business community will best protect its interests by engaging constructively.

“I urge business leaders to think strategically on climate change – and give the Government the benefit of the results.”

Ends

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