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When will we turn the corner?

18 April 2008

When will we turn the corner?

The Green Party says today's news that New Zealand's greenhouse emissions have continued to rise, though not as fast as previously, is still not good enough.

"The key date is when our emissions will stop rising, level off and start to decline. That is what we must aim at. Every year we postpone that date makes it harder for us to meet our obligations in the future," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"Some of the slower growth in emissions can be attributed to the fact that we have built a new gas fired power plant and are running the coal plant at Huntly less of the time. But the coal plant is still there, and if electricity demand continues to rise it will be used more and emissions will rise even faster.

"If New Zealand is serious about meeting our Kyoto obligations and further reductions after 2012 we cannot rely just on emissions trading."

"The Government and its own SOEs are responsible for much of the increase in emissions. Landcorp is clearing forests and converting them to dairy farms on behalf of other land owners. It is a cop out to say that if they didn't someone else would; we expect better of government-owned companies," Ms Fitzsimons says.

Government-owned Solid Energy is increasing coal mining, which also adds to emissions, and Government is putting far more capital into new motorways which encourage increased traffic, than into public transport which is a lower carbon alternative.

"Carbon neutrality demands more than this," Ms Fitzsimons says.

ENDS

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