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China trumps Bali

03 December 2007

China trumps Bali

The New Zealand - China free trade talks underway again today are standing in the way of action on climate change and tropical forest destruction says the Green Party. This is in spite of all the talk about the climate change conference in Bali.

"The Government's desire to reach a free trade deal with China is standing in the way of a ban on imports of illegally logged timber products," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

China is New Zealand's major source of illegal timber products made from tropical forest destruction. Deforestation is responsible for one fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions, and putting at threat the survival of ecosystems and hundreds of species.

"New Zealand is contributing to deforestation by importing timber and furniture from China and other countries which originates from illegal logging of tropical forests in Asia and the Pacific.

"One of the most important steps New Zealand could take to reduce greenhouse emissions would be to ban the import of furniture and timber from China and elsewhere that comes from the illegal logging of the last remaining tropical rainforests.

"Yet, the New Zealand Government has failed to act to ban the import of illegally logged tropical timber products because it doesn't want to upset free trade negotiations with China.

"So not only will the free trade deal increase New Zealand's greenhouse emissions by increasing our dairy production, but it is standing in the way of taking action to stop tropical forest destruction.

"It is hypocritical of the Government to go to Bali saying they want action to reduce greenhouse emissions from deforestation while not taking action to stop the import of illegally and unsustainably logged tropical timber into New Zealand.

"Trade policy is trumping climate change policy," Ms Fitzsimons says.


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