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Implementation the key to Kyoto success

Implementation the key to Kyoto success

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is welcoming tonight's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change but said that success or failure of the Protocol would depend very much on how it was implemented.

"The Greens are pleased to see New Zealand finally ratify this Protocol. We congratulate the Government for doing so and take pride in giving them the support required to get to this stage," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"The Greens have long supported New Zealand's membership of this important international convention but it is what comes next that really matters."

Ms Fitzsimons said while Government had passed her own Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill, there was not much progress yet in reducing the country's growing dependence on fossil fuels.

"The signing and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol tonight is a major step forward but it is important that people realise it will achieve nothing unless we start to implement it in significant and worthwhile ways.

"For example this Government is taking no action on restricting new gas fired power plants and the growth in the use of motor vehicles continues to grow unrestrained. We need action on both of these areas, and many more, if tonight's signing is to achieve its goals," she said.

"For example, SUV's with appalling levels of energy efficiency have grown, as a proportion of the vehicle fleet, from four per cent to 12 per cent in the last six years. We urgently need fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, as well as alternatives to cars."

Ms Fitzsimons said her Road Traffic Reduction Bill, which has just passed its first reading, would be the kind of legislation the Government needed to fully support in order to give substance to tonight's ratification.

Ms Fitzsimons will attend tonight's signing ceremony in the Banquet Hall.

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