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Stern report highlights Labour’s policy vacuum

Stern report highlights Labour’s policy vacuum

National Party Environment spokesman Nick Smith says the release of the Stern report on the economics of climate change highlights Labour’s failure to deliver a coherent climate change policy.

“The public will be justifiably dubious about Helen Clark’s ability to deliver on her much-trumpeted measures to control emissions when there have been seven years of failure under a Labour Government.

“Pumping out reports does not equate to a coherent climate change policy. There are 71 reports and 36 Cabinet papers alone on the Environment Ministry’s climate change website.

“Under Labour, greenhouse gas emissions have grown at three times the rate of Australia and four times the rate of the United States.

“Officials calculated wrongly and we ended up with a billion-dollar carbon debt, and forestry plantings have tumbled. The carbon tax was the wrong method of controlling emissions and was rightly dumped, as was the fart tax.

“Labour’s support for laws that stifle development have seen renewable generation such as the Aqua and Dobson hydro schemes blocked. Instead, thermal generation such as the oil-fired Whirinaki and coal-fired Marsden stations have been given the go-ahead.

“I wrote to Labour on 22 December last year offering to work with the Government to design a sustainable climate change policy that had the support of both major political parties. I have yet to get a reply.

“National this month released a significant discussion document that looks at options for dealing with climate change.

“Under Labour, very little has happened.”

Ends

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