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Business needs sustainable energy: Fitzsimons

26 May 2005

Business needs sustainable energy: Fitzsimons

Climate change, Peak Oil and depletion of our gas reserves are the biggest threats to business success and the Greens' energy plan is the best chance business has to keep their doors open as these challenges unfold, says Jeanette Fitzsimons.

The Green Party Co-Leader was responding to Business New Zealand executive director Phil O'Reilly's attacks on the Greens' newly released Energy Policy.

"If we keep going down the track we're on, business has a dark future, just like the rest of us," said Ms Fitzsimons. "Business needs the Greens' comprehensive energy plan as much as the rest of New Zealand."

"Business New Zealand needs to realise that, like everything else in our society, business is not sustainable without sustainable energy. Frankly, looking at their response to our policy, they have not even read it.

"For Phil O'Reilly to insist we must burn more coal is just daft. It is not just the Greens saying we can't use more coal; it's the planet itself.

"Mr O'Reilly: climate change is here, it's real, and it's time that people in positions of responsibility like you pulled their heads out of the sand.

"Business New Zealand, of course, does not represent all business in New Zealand. The tourism industry doesn't want our environment trashed. The Solar Industry Association, who this morning welcomed our energy initiative, are obviously a business group. What business would be opposed to saving money on their power bill through our emphasis on energy efficiency?

"The market has a key role to play in the proposals the Greens have put forward. Yes, limitations have to be placed in some areas, but all business has to operate within the limitations placed upon it by nature and society. It is time business lobby groups were honest with their members and the public about the threats of climate change and Peak Oil, and started playing a positive role in easing New Zealand through the challenges ahead."

ENDS

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