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Greens Challenge PM To Walk The Green Talk

05 February 2002

Green Party co-leader Rod Donald is challenging the Government to act on a new OECD recommendation that Governments should buy "Green" when spending public money.

The OECD council, which represents 30 countries including New Zealand, recommended last week that member Governments implement concrete steps to buy more environmentally friendly goods and services.

"Prime Minister Helen Clark has repeatedly said in the lead-up to Rio+10, later this year, that she wants New Zealand to be a world-leader in sustainability," said Mr Donald.

"We want the Prime Minister to demonstrate that her statements are more than talk by adopting Green purchasing policies.

"If our Government follows through, it could impact on all public spending; from building highways, to buying car fleets and supplying power, water and sanitation," he said.

"If Government-owned CRIs boosted research into sustainable technologies instead of genetic engineering, the country would have a much healthier economic outlook.

"The OECD recommendation also provides New Zealand businesses with an extra incentive to develop and market sustainable technologies, both here and overseas."

Mr Donald said the OECD recommendation should signal the start of triple bottom line accounting for public spending.

"In the last two budgets, the Green Party has put $1.38 million into developing Greener national and corporate accounts, but the Government has been slow to get this project going. Hopefully this report will be an added incentive," said Mr Donald.

The OECD recommendations include incorporating environmental criteria as well as cost and performance, introducing accounting measures to do that, better information and training about Greener choices, and monitoring progress made. The OECD will report in 2005 on how New Zealand and other member countries have performed.

For more on the OECD recommendation, see the What's New section at http://www.oecd.org

Ends

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