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Government Backs Off Kyoto Platform

'Climate change' Minister Pete Hodgson has advised he is no longer available to address the Kyoto Summit in Auckland on February 20th, citing an electorate day as more important.

The Northern Employers & Manufacturers Association organising the Summit says the decision indicates Government could be starting to back away from its previous commitment to ratify the Protocol this year.

"While we are disappointed the Minister is not now available to address the Summit, perhaps it is an encouraging sign that Government's commitment to ratify the Kyoto Protocol ahead of our trading partners is on the wane," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"Minister Hodgson advised that attending the Otago University's "clubs and associations open day" has a higher priority than addressing our Auckland conference, notwithstanding the international speakers from the United Nations and Australia that will also be speaking.

"Mr Hodgson's office advised no other Cabinet Minister knows enough about climate change to take his place. Instead Government officials would deliver Government's message.

"The EMA has organized the Summit to increase business understanding of this important issue. We have been appalled that Government's attempts to provide information and consult the community has been woefully lacking.

"It's a shame Government will not be there to present its own position, but we are confident the Summit will nonetheless spell out the details of the case for and against ratifying the Protocol."


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