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Holcim seeks Negotiated Greenhouse Agreement

6 September 2005

Holcim seeks Negotiated Greenhouse Agreement

As part of ongoing efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, to protect jobs and the international competitiveness of its cement manufacturing operation, Holcim New Zealand and the government today announced that they are to enter talks for a Negotiated Greenhouse Agreement (NGA).

“Climate change is direct threat to New Zealand's economy, environment and way of life,” says Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change Pete Hodgson. "Our NGA policy is another example of how this government is working with business to secure the best outcome for the economy and the environment.

“Those firms that engage with the NGA process recognise the need to take action on climate change at the same time as structuring their operations to remain competitive in a world that now prices emissions.”

Firms of any size whose international competitiveness might otherwise be at risk from the carbon tax can apply. Those that obtain an NGA receive exemptions to the carbon tax in return for moving to world’s best practice in emissions management.

“This is a very important issue for Holcim New Zealand, so we’re obviously very pleased to be invited to proceed to negotiations,” said Holcim New Zealand General Manager Cement, Jeremy Smith.

“We first undertook a voluntary agreement to reduce our emissions in 1995. Following on from that success, we think the opportunity to pursue an NGA fits in very well with the company’s existing sustainable development goals.”

The Government has already signed NGAs with gold mining company OceanaGold and the New Zealand Refining Company. It is in negotiations with ACI Glass Packaging, New Zealand Steel, Carter Holt Harvey, Fletcher Building, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, Newmont Waihi, and Norske Skog Tasman.

The Government recently announced a streamlining of the NGA process to reduce the time and costs involved. A pilot grants package is being rolled out for smaller energy intensive firms and sectors to help them offset the cost of the carbon tax.

ENDS

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