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Kyoto here to stay, get used to it

12 December 2005

Kyoto here to stay, get used to it

Don Brash and the other Kyoto detractors in Parliament need to now accept that the world is going to make some sort of adjustments for climate change and New Zealand is going to have to be part of it, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

The UN's climate change summit in Montreal finished yesterday with all countries, including the US, signing up to an agreement to continue a unified global approach to tackling the issue.

"The Kyoto Protocol is still alive and is only going to get stronger from here on in," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"Even the United States has now recognised that the damage that climate change will cause will be so great that humanity must take collective action. No nation state is now trying to pretend it isn't happening.

"Don Brash's recent launch of his 'Axe Carbon Tax' campaign now looks just plain naive. As I said at the time, the Green Party is happy to discuss whether a carbon tax is the best way to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions. A pricing incentive to encourage clean energy is essential in a market economy, otherwise we are subsidising fossil fuels at the expense of the environment and future generations.

"But the approach of the Nats and others in our Parliament seems to be to just to oppose whatever measure is put forward without offering any alternative. They may claim that they are not climate change deniers, but they are certainly acting like they are.

"The small but important step taken at Montreal shows the sense of New Zealand hanging in there with the climate-conscious countries. Even Australia did not back the Americans' temporary walk out earlier in the weekend.

"This threat is so great that humanity will stand or fall together, so we have to take action together to prevent it going any further," Ms Fitzsimons says.


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