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Minority Report Says No To Kyoto

A minority report, by National members of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, has strongly recommended that New Zealand not progress with ratifying the Kyoto Protocol at this stage.

"National believes, as did the majority of submitters, that the risks and uncertainties of ratification significantly outweigh any alleged benefits New Zealand is likely to gain in the first and second commitment periods," explains National's Agriculture spokesman Gavan Herlihy.

He says the measurable risks to New Zealand's standard of living and international competitiveness far outweigh the illusory gains from ratification.

"It is incredible that the Government is prepared to adopt such a significant policy without conducting a comprehensive analysis of the costs and benefits.

"Our report strongly recommends that the National Interest Analysis (NIA) be fully reworked to assess the implications of the Government's recently announced policy package, which includes the introduction of a carbon tax."

Mr Herlihy says climate change policy will be one of the most significant decisions made by any New Zealand Government in recent years.

"There must be broad political and community consensus on this issue - something the current policy does not have - because its impact on ordinary New Zealanders will last well beyond the term of one Government," he concluded.

Ends

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