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Greens challenge MPs to 'walk the talk'

27 March 2008

Greens challenge MPs to 'walk the talk' and pay carbon costs

The Green Party calls on all parties in Parliament to opt into the voluntary emissions offsetting scheme announced by Air New Zealand today, and to pay for the off-setting out of their own pockets.

"MPs must fly frequently as part of their work representing New Zealanders and attending Parliamentary sessions in Wellington, but that is no reason not to take responsibility for our environmental impact," Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

Last year the six Green MPs committed to off-setting their flights. While MPs flights are paid for by Parliament, the Green MPs pay their own off-setting costs.

"Personal payment creates an incentive for MPs and parties to reduce flights, and the Green MPs have become more conscious about optimising travel trips to attending multiple events in one location, and explore alternatives such as video-conferencing.

"However this voluntary contribution is administratively time-consuming to calculate, and would be much more efficient if calculated by the Parliamentary travel office by default as flights are booked, and then invoiced to MPs.

"The Green Party also reminds Air New Zealand that it is essential that off-setting activity such as emission reduction and tree-planting must be credible and independently verified as genuinely reducing or removing emissions."


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