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Time for Govt to come clean on Kyoto costs

Dr Nick Smith National Party Environment Spokesman

1 October 2004

Time for Govt to come clean on Kyoto costs

National's Environment spokesman Dr Nick Smith says it is time the Government came clean on how much their ratification of the Kyoto Protocol will cost New Zealand.

Today, the Russian Government approved the Protocol, and once it has passed through the Russian Parliament, it will bring the agreement into legal effect internationally. But Labour has yet to announce the level of carbon tax it intends to impose in 2007.

Dr Smith says the Russian ratification exposes the folly of Labour's commitment to the Protocol ahead of our major trading partners.

"The Protocol's ratification will expose New Zealand to increased costs and limits on emissions, while our major trading partners like Australia, the United States, Singapore, China, and nearly all of South-East Asia, face no binding commitments.

"It will further undermine New Zealand's international competitiveness. There will now be real incentives for businesses to relocate to Australia, or other countries, for no environmental benefit.

"We are badly exposed."

National opposes any carbon tax and favours a tradable emissions permit system.

Dr Smith says National will review New Zealand's commitment to the Protocol if Australia and the United States remain outside the agreement.

ENDS

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