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UN award puts rhetoric ahead of record

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Climate Change Spokesman

23 April 2008

UN award puts rhetoric ahead of record

The United Nations is putting rhetoric ahead of record in honouring Prime Minister Helen Clark with a Champion of the Earth Award says National’s Climate Change spokesman, Nick Smith.

“It is all very well for her to win this award for Labour’s goal of New Zealand having 90% renewable electricity by 2025, but her nine year record in office is of declining renewable energy and increased emissions.

“New Zealand’s proportion of renewable energy has dropped every year Helen Clark has been Prime Minister – from 72% in 2000 to 66% in 2007.

“As a direct result of Labour’s decision to build the new Whirinaki power station in 2002 and the massive new e3p gas turbine at Huntley in 2007, 75% of new electricity capacity built under her Government has been fossil fuel

“It is also ironic that coal generated electricity, the most environmentally damaging, has trebled from 4% in 1999 to 12% in 2005.

“New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are growing faster than almost any developed country and are 26% over New Zealand’s agreed Kyoto target.

“In contrast both Australia and the UK are on track to meet their Kyoto targets.

“The message from this United Nations award is that the talk is more important than the walk.

“The tragedy is that it is action and not words that are required if the world is to beat climate change.”


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