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Govt On Kyoto: Dogma Defeats Commonsense

ACT Deputy Leader Ken Shirley today called on the Government to release public submissions it received last year on the planned Kyoto Protocol.

"Last year when the Government called for submissions it indicated that those submissions would be publicly released.

"But it seems the Government has now decided not to release the information.

"I have learned today that the overwhelming majority of those submissions - including those from industry, local government, maori and the trade union movement - are against ratification of the Protocol in its present form. The public needs to know if this is the case.

"The Government's reconfirmation of its intention to pass legislation and ratify the Protocol by September this year is yet another example of the triumph of dogma over commonsense.

"The Prime Minister's claim in her statement today that the Government does not intend to move ahead of other western countries on Kyoto is clearly untrue. To date, Romania is the only Annexe 1 country to have ratified. The United States and now, Japan, have indicated their opposition to ratification of the Protocol in its current form.

"The Protocol does not become operative until two thresholds are met. Firstly, 55 percent of the Annexe 1 (developed world) countries must ratify and secondly, those ratifying countries must incorporate 55 percent of the calculated CO2 emissions from Annexe 1 countries. With now both the United States and Japan saying that they will not ratify the Protocol in its current form, it is most unlikely that that threshold will be met. Yet New Zealand will be out in front of the pack - having passed legislation and ratified a seriously flawed Protocol.

"All economic analyses that have been done indicate that the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol will seriously damage the New Zealand economy by reducing our international competitiveness costing us investment and jobs.

"I have written to the Minister in charge of the climate change programme seeking a copy of the submissions which were made on the Protocol, and call upon the Government to release the summary at an early date," said Ken Shirley.


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