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Embarrassing emissions growth at Ministry

Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman

16 November 2007

Embarrassing emissions growth at Environment Ministry

The Ministry for the Environment’s greenhouse gas emissions grew by 22% this year, a rate 10 times faster than the rest of New Zealand, despite it leading the Government’s programme on carbon neutrality, says National’s Environment spokesman, Nick Smith.

“This massive growth in emissions exposes the hypocrisy of all the Government’s talk over climate change and carbon neutrality.

“Here we have the lead agency that is exhorting all New Zealanders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increasing emissions like there is no tomorrow.”

The 22% increase is noted in the Ministry’s annual report and by the Auditor-General in his report yesterday to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee. Emissions grew from 735 tonnes CO2e in 2005/06 to 897 tonnes in 2006/07. The 22% increase compares to a 1.7% per annum increase in New Zealand’s total emissions.

“The embarrassment of these figures is that Labour has announced that the Ministry for the Environment will lead a carbon neutral public service.

“Talk of carbon neutrality, or a 100% reduction in emissions is farcical when in their first year emissions have gone up 22%. Officials also admitted that due to higher attendance at international conferences this year, emissions are likely to further increase in 2008.

“The tragedy of these figures is that they just further highlight Labour’s failure on climate change. They came into Government in 1999 promising a 20% reduction in New Zealand’s total emissions by 2005 but instead we have an increase of 20%.

“The carbon neutral public service is a cheap gimmick devised to try to save Labour’s appalling record on climate change. It has backfired badly.”


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