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Kyoto - costly, warm fuzzies

Gavan Herlihy National Agriculture Spokesperson

1 February 2002

Kyoto - costly, warm fuzzies

The Government must listen to the well-founded concerns of the farming sector, before rushing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, says National Agriculture spokesman Gavan Herlihy.

Mr Herlihy was commenting on the result of a recent Federated Farmers' survey, which has found that more than 90 per cent of respondents oppose the Labour/Alliance Government's plans to sign up to the controversial climate change agreement later this year.

"National agrees with the overwhelming farmer sentiment that there is absolutely no sense in New Zealand rushing to ratify Kyoto while significant uncertainties remain over agriculture's contribution to greenhouse gases and what the costs of signing will be.

"All New Zealand farmers understand it is in our long-term interests that the world develops an effective response to global warming.

"But, National believes this can only be achieved when there is truly, a global agreement on climate change - at present Kyoto is not," he added.

"Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton must break his long held silence on Kyoto and front up to Helen Clark with the justifiable anxieties of farmers about it. This is despite Ms Clark's clear desire to boost her international image by ratifying Kyoto at a world environmental conference in South Africa later this year," Mr Herlihy added.

"National's position is clear. New Zealand shouldn't't ratify Kyoto ahead of our major trading partners - especially before we know what true costs will be to our economy," Gavan Herlihy concluded.


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