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New Zealand Can Play Decisive International Role


Auckland – 20 June 2000: Greenpeace today defended the claims of a wide coalition of international environmental groups that the Kyoto Protocol was headed for the rocks unless loopholes were closed.(1)

“A report released last week calculates the size of the “loopholes” (such as generating forestry carbon credits) in the Kyoto Protocol and shows that there could be more than a 15% increase in OECD greenhouse emissions”, said Sue Connor Greenpeace Climate Campaigner (2). “If New Zealand is proposing limits on the use of these loopholes there has been no open indication of this at any of the international negotiations.”

“At an international meeting last year a number of nations explicitly opposed the inclusion of nuclear energy in the Clean Development Mechanism, including Indonesia”(3), said Sue Connor of Greenpeace. “However, New Zealand has not opposed nuclear energy at the international negotiations.”

“The bottom line is that if nuclear energy is not excluded, the Kyoto Protocol will provide a subsidy to the nuclear industry to expand this dangerous technology into the developing world ”, said Connor. “We want to know when New Zealand will stand up publicly at the international negotiations and oppose this outcome.”

A report released by Greenpeace International and WWF International last week documented the New Zealand position at a recent scientific meeting on “sinks” (or tree planting) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.(4)

“The report documented that the New Zealand delegation was trying to remove safeguards against deforestation in the generation of carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol” said Connor. “We are yet to see any public statement from the New Zealand delegation at any international meetings to negate this position. ”

FOR MORE INFORMATION; Contact Sue Connor at Greenpeace New Zealand on (021) 213 5603 or Bill Hare Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director on +31 20 523 6222

Notes to editors: Reports are available from Greenpeace New Zealand.
(1) Loopholes include forest credits which will enable countries to burn more fossil fuels
(2) Undermining the Kyoto Protocol: Environmental Effectiveness v. Political Expediency
(3) Other countries opposing nuclear energy were Germany, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Singapore, Tuvalu, Nauru and Ireland. The Alliance of Small Island States (43 States) included anti-nuclear text in their working text on the Clean Development Mechanism. Thirteen of the EU states have now opposed nuclear energy under the Kyoto Protocol.
(4) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s XVIth Plenary in Montreal, 1 – 8 May 2000.

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