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National playing poodle on Kyoto

Thursday, 13 May 2004 Media Statement

National playing poodle on Kyoto

The National Party has abandoned both principle and independence in its latest position on the Kyoto Protocol, says the Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson.

"National governments signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, negotiated New Zealand's Kyoto Protocol target, signed the Protocol and began developing policy to meet New Zealand's Kyoto obligations, including proposals for a carbon tax and tradeable emissions permits.

"Now we have Nick Smith reportedly saying a National government would withdraw New Zealand from the Protocol if the United States and Australia do not ratify. Apparently National has now reached the position where it is up to Washington and Canberra to decide what New Zealand should be doing about climate change.

"New Zealand was the 101st of the 122 nations that have ratified the Protocol to date. Of the 38 developed nations that have emissions targets under the Protocol, only two – the United States and Australia – currently have governments that do not intend to ratify.

"National wants New Zealand to become the third holdout. The damage to our reputation with the rest of the world would be incalculable. Unlike Australia and the USA, New Zealand would be welching on an international commitment we have already made.

"Even worse, National has no alternative plan for dealing with the problem of climate change, which Nick Smith himself has described as one that "eventually … will stuff life on Earth". National is apparently prepared to brand New Zealand Unclean and Ungreen, as well as 100% Pure Poodle."

ENDS

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