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Climate Change Policy Cautiously Welcomed

Environment & Conservation Organisations of NZ (ECO)
P O Box 11057, Wellington
ph/fax 04 385 7545

Media Release - 8 May 2000

Climate Change Policy Cautiously Welcomed

Today’s announcement by Prime Minister, Helen Clark that New Zealand will ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change by mid-2002 has been cautiously welcomed by the Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ.

“It is great to see the government commit to a date for ratification, however we believe the urgency of climate change and New Zealand’s obligation to our Pacific neighbours requires faster action”, said Stephen Blyth, ECO Chairperson.

“We are urging the government not to delay implementation of a programme of measures to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions”.

“There is no reason why action could not occur earlier. There is already a large amount of research and many policy papers which set-out options for the government. It is time for action, not more hot air,” Mr Blyth said.

“ECO will examine closely the legislative and policy timetable. We will be calling on government to take the earliest possible action to ensure New Zealand meets its international commitments.”

“It is a relief to see a Prime Minister willing to take the lead on the issue of climate change after seven years of vacillation by the previous government.”

The Vote for the Environment Charter sets out the following priorities, on which we will be assessing the performance of the government on addressing climate change: agreementto a 20% cut in 2008-2012 of green house gas emissions over 1990 levels introductionof a significant, fiscally neutral carbon charge developmentof National Policy Statement on climate change under the Resource Management Act investmentin renewable energy and energy conservation rejectionof the ‘net’ approach for determining gas emission reduction targets.

Ends

Contact: Stephen Blyth, ph 04 494 0580 wk, 04 383 5727 hm


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