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Half billion dollar loss adds to Kyoto woes

Nick Smith
National Party Environment Spokesperson

11 July 2006
Half billion dollar loss adds to Kyoto woes

New Zealand’s Kyoto liabilities have deteriorated by a further $500 million, official papers show.

National’s Environment spokesman Nick Smith says the just-released papers show that the estimated rate of deforestation is six times last year’s forecast.

“The Government last May estimated this deforestation problem at 6.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions. They set a cap at 21 million tonnes but now these papers show a current estimate of 40 million tonnes.

“This 33 million tonnes of additional carbon deforestation amounts to an increased liability to the taxpayer at $15/tonne of a further $500 million.

“These appalling numbers are being driven by Labour’s disastrous forestry policies. For the first time in 30 years, New Zealand’s forest areas declined in 2005, and these latest estimates show officials expect this to continue.

“Labour must drop its duplicitous policy of making foresters liable for carbon debts while not providing any credits for new plantings. It should immediately drop its policy of a 10% deforestation cap that is encouraging foresters to get in early and fell their trees.

“Labour’s climate change policies are proving to be bad for the environment and for the economy. The bill for their Kyoto folly is spiralling and trees are being felled at record rates and not replaced.”

ENDS

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