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Maori Party must use influence on climate

4 December 2008

Maori Party must use influence on climate: Greens

Welcoming the Maori Party's call today for 'urgent and meaningful' action on climate change, the Green Party urges Maori Party Ministers to help rescue New Zealand's climate credibility.

"It is heartening to hear such strong words from Tariana Turia in a statement today, but her words are in stark contrast to the climate change actions to date from the new National-led Government," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says

"I call on the Maori Party Ministers to use their positions and influence on the National-led Government to save the only "urgent and meaningful" climate policies to date.

"We must prevent the Greens' $1 billion home insulation fund from being scrapped, and retain the energy and cost-saving efficiency standards for lighting and hot-water heating.

"The uncertainty the Government is creating around the ETS, and refusal to commit to climate change targets at the Poznan talks is embarrassing New Zealand.

"We hope the Maori Party will use their influence to prevent New Zealand committing climate and economic suicide."

Ms Fitzsimons also challenged the National-led Government while speaking to 'The 350 Challenge' rally at Parliament today. The 350 movement seeks a responsible global solution to climate change.

"National's current policies would have the world overshooting the point of no return, whereas the 350 movement's goal is for bold policy for a stable climate.

"The difference is that a 350 goal is based on science, whereas successive New Zealand Governments have played politics with climate change.

"NASA climate scientist James Hansen calculates we must aim for 350 parts per million as a safe long term level of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

"We passed 350ppm in 1988, the year I attended the first New Zealand conference on climate change and started lecturing on the topic at Auckland University," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"With levels now at 387ppm and climbing, it is very disappointing that the international press is today carrying stories of New Zealand's 'holding back' in Poland.

"We certainly won't get to 350 by scrapping every piece of effective climate change policy, and being an obstacle to progress internationally.

"I congratulate the 350 movement and call on the Government to back this vision with action."


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