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Hodgson hails new era in climate change action

Wednesday, 16 February 2005

Hodgson hails new era in climate change action

The Kyoto Protocol comes into force today, marking the start of a new era in global efforts to limit climate change, says Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson.

The Protocol has been ratified by 141 nations to date and sets binding emissions reductions targets for all of the world's developed nations except the US, Australia and Monaco.

"As New Zealanders, we have always done our bit to preserve our environment for the good of future generations," says Pete Hodgson. "We're now rising to the challenge posed by climate change; arguably the most important environmental issue the world has ever faced."

The Kyoto Protocol is structured to enable economic growth at the same time as providing incentives to reduce emissions across both developed and developing nations.

"New Zealanders are a proud and resourceful people that have always been quick to innovate and look out for the environment. We are already starting to find ways to make a buck out of cutting emissions.

"Business and individuals have already successfully tendered for over $150 million worth of emissions units, tradable under Kyoto. Many others have looked to use energy more efficiently, at home, on the road and in business. Our economy is becoming more competitive and productive as a result.

"The Kyoto Protocol will drive significant technological changes in the years ahead. New Zealanders have never chosen to be left behind as the world changes. We're proud to be doing our bit alongside 140 other nations who have ratified. Our economy and our environment will be better for it."

ENDS

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