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National breaks climate change promises

21 November 2012
National breaks climate change promises

The National Government has broken two election promises it made to act on climate change, the Green Party revealed today.

“National’s broken election promises on climate change show how little it cares about the environment or New Zealand’s international reputation,” Green Party climate change spokesperson Kennedy Graham said.

“Since the last election, National has gutted the Emissions Trading Scheme in a way which loads more costs onto taxpayers while subsidising polluters, and it has decided not to make further binding commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.”

1. In its 2011 election Environment and Climate Change policy National said it would; “improve the ETS broadly in line with the recommendations of the 2011 review”.

“In fact, it failed to implement recommendations around including agriculture, removing the two for one pollution subsidy, and increasing the price cap on the cost of emissions.”

2. It promised that changes to the ETS would not add costs: “We recognise the Government’s finances are under pressure and our changes to the ETS will be fiscally neutral.”

"How can the Government say the $328 million extra cost over four years, as detailed in its Cabinet paper, is fiscally neutral? It’s not.

"It has also fallen short on another pledge. While it said it would; “support the development of a comprehensive international agreement to succeed Kyoto,” it has failed to sign up to a second binding commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Earlier this month, Australia announced it, like 36 other countries, would sign up to a second commitment.

“New Zealand is not doing its fair share to combat climate change and our international reputation will be damaged.

“Just today the World Meteorological Organisation revealed the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high last year.

“Also this week the World Bank released a new scientific report showing the planet was on track to warm by 4 degrees and urgent action was needed to stop that, or the world would face ‘cataclysmic changes’ including extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks, and a sea-level rise affecting hundreds of millions of people,” Dr Graham said.

WMO press release: http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_965_en.html

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