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Greens welcome cross-party work on climate change

30 March 2006

Greens welcome cross-party work on climate change

The Green Party has welcomed the readiness shown today in the House by acting Energy Minister Pete Hodgson to foster cross-party agreements on climate change, Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"This positive approach by the acting Minister is perfectly in tune with the mood at the recent Climate Change conference in Wellington, where speakers underlined the need for reaching a cross-party consensus on our approach to climate change. This will avoid the three yearly electioneering flip-flops that create a hopeless climate for business investment," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"I am encouraged that Mr Hodgson sees this as a goal, too."

The Greens propose that a neutral organisation be found to convene a meeting in order to explore the feasible common ground between the parties.

"Some organisation like the Royal Society of New Zealand or the Institute of Policy Studies would provide the sort of space likely to encourage productive discussions of the issues involved," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"If we could start by reaching agreement on the urgency of the problem, we could then move beyond the outdated question of whether climate change is real. No one at the conference had any doubts on that score."

The Greens would also be seeking agreement on the need for a price on carbon, in order to foster a stable policy environment that will enable business to plan its investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

"Mr Hodgson's positive response is a signal that climate change is now a mainstream political issue. The public are asking us to put politics aside in the interests of the planet and its people. The Greens will participate in good faith with any other parties committed to doing likewise," Ms Fitzsimons says.

ENDS

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