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Labour “utterly fails” on climate change policy

Labour “utterly fails” on climate change policy

National Party Environment spokesman Nick Smith says Labour has “utterly failed” to deliver a coherent climate change policy and the public will be “justifiably dubious” about Helen Clark’s ability to deliver.

“Climate change is one of Labour’s most spectacular policy failures. New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions have been growing at three times the rate of Australia and four times the rate of the United States.

“The debacle over the carbon credit that turned into a billion-dollar carbon debit won’t easily be forgotten. Meanwhile, forest planting has plummeted, and 2005 was the first year in decades in which there was net deforestation.

“And to add insult to injury, Labour has been rejecting renewable energy projects like the Aqua and the Dobson hydro schemes in favour of thermal generators.”

Dr Smith is referring to the oil fired Whirinaki power station and the approvals given to a coal fired power station in Whangarei.

“The amount of power generated by coal since Labour took office has trebled.

“For seven years Labour has been talking out of both sides of its mouth on climate change.”

Dr Smith notes that on December 22 last year he wrote to Labour offering to work with the Government to design a sustainable climate change policy that had the support of both major political parties.

“All the advice to this Government has been that they need to consult and co-operate. National takes the view that climate change is too important an issue for petty politics. But Labour hasn’t even bothered to reply to my letter.”

Dr Smith says National has already floated a significant discussion document that looks at the options for dealing with climate change.

“I guess we should be thankful that Helen Clark is talking the talk. The public will be justifiably dubious about whether she can walk the walk,” says Dr Smith.


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