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Kyoto rush threatens NZ's competitiveness

Gavan Herlihy National Agriculture Spokesperson

25 February 2002

Kyoto rush threatens NZ's competitiveness

National's Agriculture spokesman Gavan Herlihy says the latest NZIER report confirms his view that it is irresponsible for the Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol before it's known what the effects will be on New Zealand's export competitiveness.

"According to the National Interest Analysis these effects will largely depend on the domestic policy measures chosen to meet our obligations under the protocol," he says.

Mr Herlihy also questions the credibility for public input, when submissions to the Select Committee close on March 11 - a month before details of what domestic measures the Government implement to ensure New Zealand meets its Kyoto commitments.

"Contrary to the claims by Energy Minister Peter Hodgson, the NIA is woefully short on definitive data or assessment of the costs to our economy of New Zealand ratifying ahead of our major competitors.

"There is no detailed analysis on the effects of New Zealand ratifying ahead of Australia. For instance, how will this impact on CER? And, what competitive advantage will our ratification give Australian dairy and meat exports?

"The latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research indicates that implementing the Kyoto Protocol is likely to have a greater impact on New Zealand's biggest export earners such as dairying, meat and timber than it will on our competitors.

"Surely it is only prudent that we have some proper assessment, before the Government ties the country to a legally, binding, international treaty. "

Mr Herlihy says it is time the Government started listening to the growing chorus of concern from farming, business and economic leaders over its unnecessary hurry to ratify Kyoto ahead of our competitors.


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