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Carbon neutrality – where is it?

John Key MP
National Party Leader

18 May 2007

Carbon neutrality – where is it?

National Party leader John Key says he is surprised that Helen Clark abandoned her slogan of ‘carbon neutrality’ in the 2008 Budget.

“’Carbon neutrality’ was the goal she set for New Zealand in the speech from the throne in February this year. The rhetoric is not matched by Helen Clark’s record and it’s certainly not backed up by this year’s Budget.”

In February, when Helen Clark set her agenda for the year, she said ‘I believe that in the years to come, the pride we take in our quest for sustainability and carbon neutrality will define our nation’.

“Given that Helen Clark had such deeply held convictions at the start of the year, it is very unusual that the promises were not followed up with some concrete thinking in the Budget.”

Mr Key says National has set a target to reduce net emissions by 50 percent by 2050.

“National will do much better at reducing New Zealand’s emissions than Labour has done. As a starting point, we think New Zealand needs a credible emissions reduction target to strive for. A ‘carbon neutral’ goal with no timeline just won’t cut it.”

Mr Key says climate-change awareness will create new markets for Kiwi industries, tourism, and technology. It’s estimated that demand for low-carbon products will be worth at least $500 billion per year by 2050. Countries and consumers will be crying out for climate-friendly products and innovations.

“History has proven New Zealand to be capable of huge determination in the face of global challenges; under National we will be determined again.”

ENDS

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