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Damning biofuels report must trigger rethink

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Climate Change Spokesman

25 June 2008

Damning biofuels report must trigger rethink

"Labour must reconsider its biofuels policy in response to Oxfam's damning report, says National's Climate Change spokesman, Nick Smith.

'Another Inconvenient Truth - How Biofuel Policies are Deepening Poverty and Accelerating Climate Change' 'was made public today.

"Many New Zealanders will morally object to being forced to use biofuels that are contributing to starvation, and causing food riots and poverty.

"The fundamental flaw in the Biofuel bill is that the compulsory requirement comes into effect on 1 October, but the sustainability standards follow a year or more later.

"Labour can't hide behind the sustainability principles added to the Bill when they don't come into effect for at least a year, and when officials say it is likely to take until 2011 to implement them.

"Defining the sustainability of biofuels is fraught with difficulty, as highlighted by both Oxfam and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. The Europeans have unsuccessfully been grappling with this issue for three years and have not resolved it.

"The reporting requirements are not a substitute for legal obligations and are of little use to consumers when they won't know for 18 months where the biofuels they bought came from.

"There should be no compulsory biofuels requirement until the issue over sustainability standards is resolved."

ENDS


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