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Govt admits NZ will pay others to meet Kyoto

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman

19 December 2007

Govt admits NZ will have to pay others to meet Kyoto

Environmentalists and taxpayers will be disappointed by the admission by Labour that New Zealand will have to pay other countries if we are to meet our Kyoto obligations, says National’s Climate Change spokesman Nick Smith.

“Labour ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, but failed in the intervening five years to do anything to constrain emissions. New Zealand now faces huge liabilities from 1 January 2008, and the prospect of having to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars offshore.

“Perhaps it is the sending of large cheques to other countries that had David Parker donning a Father Christmas hat in Parliament yesterday.”

The Kyoto Protocol limits New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2012. The Minister told Parliament yesterday that our emissions would exceed these limits by over 25 million tonnes and that we would need to‘take responsibility for those emissions by purchasing emission reductions using Kyoto Protocol mechanisms’.

“The tragedy in this climate change mess is that New Zealanders would not object to their money being used on forestation and renewable energy projects here. That we must send cheques for $450 million to other countries instead is just a debacle.

“In contrast, despite Australia only ratifying the Kyoto protocol last week, their net emissions have increased by only 4% and they are on target to meet their Kyoto obligations.

“It defies belief that Labour, having increased emissions by 25% since becoming Government, and having failed to meet the modest Kyoto goal of stabilising emissions, now wants to lead the world with carbon neutrality.

“The global climate would be better served by the Government delivering less hot air and more action”.

ENDS

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