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Do the Right Thing Japan - and NZ too, Please

Greenpeace to Japan: ”Do the Right Thing”
(and New Zealand too, Please)

Auckland 28 June 2001 - Greenpeace called on Japan to reaffirm its commitment to climate protection, by clearly indicating that it would ratify the Kyoto Protocol; and to clearly distance itself from the US position. At the Dutch seaside resort near The Hague, government representatives are conducting high-level ‘informal’ negotiations in preparation for the resumption of the formal climate negotiations next month in Bonn, Germany.

In New Zealand, Greenpeace sent a letter to the Prime Minister today seeking a reconfirmation of the commitment to ratify the Kyoto Protocol by mid 2002, with or without the USA.

“In May last year Helen Clark made a commitment to ratify the Kyoto Protocol by mid 2002. In March this year George Bush announced that the US, with 5% of the worlds’ population emitting 25% of the global warming greenhouse gases, was withdrawing from the Kyoto negotiations. It is simply unacceptable that the US tries to hold the world to ransom like this. New Zealand must join with the European Union and make a commitment to ratify the Kyoto Protocol with or without the USA” . , said Sue Connor, Greenpeace New Zealand campaigner.

Ten days after the European Union announced that it would proceed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol without the US, the spotlight is now on Japan as the next country to lay its cards on the table. Public and political opinion in Japan are strongly in favour of ratification, but the government is afraid of the political fallout with their largest trading partner, the US, if they agree to ratify regardless of what the US does.

“It is no longer acceptable for Japan to represent the US position. Japan must compromise to reach agreement with the Europeans in advance of Bonn. Japan has a very important global responsibility to rise to the occasion,” said Bill Hare, Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director. Japan, sometimes joined by Canada and Australia, have been moving backwards from where they were last November on key issues, and have reintroduced the notion that nuclear power should be included in the Clean Development Mechanism – a part of the Protocol which defines “clean” energy - the idea of which was already discarded in The Hague.

“The climate cannot wait for Bush. If the US administration is not going to participate constructively in these negotiations, then they should stay at home and not get in the way of responsible governments who wish to respond to the public, political and scientific call for immediate action to protect the climate,” said Bill Hare Greenpeace climate policy director.

Sue Connor, Greenpeace climate campaigner (09) 630 6317 or 025 272 4044 or Brendan Lynch on 025 790 817.

Bill Hare +31 6 21296899
Michel Raquet +32 496 163365

To view a Greenpeace report on the proposed text of Kyoto Protocol go to:
Full report: http://www.greenpeace.org/~climate/climatecountdown/documents/analysispronk.pdf
See also: http://www.greenpeace.org/~climate/climatecountdown/

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