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PM further undermining progress on Climate Change

4 March 2009 Media Statement
Prime Minister further undermining progress on Climate Change: Labour

The withdrawal by Greenpeace yesterday from the ETS Review Select Committee, when it learned of John Key’s latest position on climate change science, puts progress in this area at further risk, says Labour spokesperson for Climate Change Charles Chauvel.

Yesterday in Parliament Charles Chauvel revealed that John Key had told Investigate Magazine that he wanted to ‘have flexibility so that if the science deteriorates and the climate change sceptics are right we have an ability to alter the impact on our economy’.

“As a result of learning of the Prime Minister’s comments, Greenpeace, one of the worlds leading NGOs in the climate change area, advised that it would not be participating further in the ETS Review Select Committee.

Greenpeace went on to say that John Key’s comments were ‘irresponsible’ and ‘embarrassing’ and that the Government has ‘no credible programme for tacking this growing global crisis’.

Today in Parliament, Charles Chauvel asked John Key whether he was concerned that, by continuing to call international science on climate change into question, he would cause other reputable groups to follow Greenpeace’s example and withdraw from participation in the ETS select committee process. John Key responded by giving an inconclusive answer.

“This Government has a terrible record on climate change issues. It has put the ETS on hold indefinitely, abolished the biofuels obligation, got rid of phase-out of inefficient light-bulbs, scrapped the home insulation retrofit scheme and repealed the moratorium on fossil fuel electricity generation.

“Now, John Key’s penchant for saying what he thinks his listener wants to hear is undermining the only remaining item of progress on climate change policy -participation in the special select committee on the redesign of the ETS.

“John Key needs to be much more careful about what he says on policy issues. He is Prime Minister now. Loose talk in that job has consequences,” Charles Chauvel said.

John Key’s changing stance on Climate Change

John Key (May 05):
“This is a complete and utter hoax, if I may say so. The impact of the Kyoto Protocol, even if one believes in global warming-and I am somewhat suspicious of it-is that we will see billions and billions of dollars poured into fixing something that we are not even sure is a problem”

John Key (Nov 06)
“I firmly believe in climate change and always have”
“Like most New Zealanders, I take the risks posed by climate change seriously. The scientific evidence indicates that the world is getting warmer and, if this does not change, the results could be catastrophic - for our society as well as for our environment.”

John Key (Dec 08)
“I believe that human-induced climate change is occurring”

John Key (Mar 09)
“The important point here is that we have flexibility built into the system so that if the science either firms up considerably more or deteriorates, and the climate change sceptics are right, we have the ability to alter the impact on our economy”


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