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Labour will free Govt from ACT climate extemists

Charles Chauvel
Spokesperson on Climate Change

25 March 2009 Media Statement

Labour will work with Government to “free it” from ACT’s climate change extremists

Labour will work constructively with the Government to reconfigure the Emissions Trading Scheme and on environmentally-friendly measures to stimulate the economy, but National has been captured by extremists in the ACT Party, says Labour climate change spokesperson Charles Chauvel.

Speaking at today’s Conferenz Climate Change Summit in Wellington, Charles Chauvel said Labour is convinced, along with most New Zealanders and most reputable scientists, that climate change “is a clear and present problem.

“Thanks to (Prime Minister) John Key’s failure to lead, and his surrender to climate change extremists in and with the ACT Party, there is no prospect that National’s promise of passing an amended ETS within nine months of taking office will be kept,” Charles Chauvel said.

There were real risks to New Zealand’s international reputation by being seen to be “backtracking” on climate change issues, he said. “We are reliant on outward trade in goods and inbound trade in services and tourism for our continued prosperity.

“It should be obvious that we cannot afford to buck the climate change trend when Australia, Japan, United States and the EU have already or are moving toward domestic ETS arrangements bolstered by strong complementary measures,” Charles Chauvel said.

“We cannot afford to delay our ETS by another year or two. And we cannot afford to continue rescinding complementary measures designed to cut carbon emissions, and simply rely on the recession to reduce our greenhouse gas output, which seems to be the National Government’s plan.”

Charles Chauvel said the national survey, published by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development this week, showed overwhelming
Support for Labour’s view that the Government needed to be decisive now.

“We are saddened so much of what we put in place before last November has been dismantled in less than five months, and are gravely concerned that no further backsliding occurs for simply ideological reasons,” Charles Chauvel said.

“The Policy Brief for a Global Green New Deal, developed by economists and the UN ahead of the G-20 meeting of world leaders next month, highlights the benefits of investing stimulus packages in areas like the energy efficiency of old and new buildings, the development of renewable energies, sustainable transport and agriculture, and in the planet’s ecological infrastructure.

“Sadly, John Key has been captured by extremists, and now he talks about being flexible and being able to adjust if the science firms up. Well, the science is already firm. John Key is pandering to the lowest common denominator, but Labour is prepared to work constructively to help free the Government from its apparent dependence on the climate change deniers associated with ACT.”


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