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Kyoto Protocol Economically Irresponsible For NZ

Kyoto Protocol Economically Irresponsible For New Zealand

"It would be grossly irresponsible for the Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol until the rules are known and the economic implications for New Zealand of reducing greenhouse gas emissions are fully understood" Federated Farmers of New Zealand President Alistair Polson said today.

"The Federation welcomes the Ministers recognition that important details of the Protocol including international carbon trading mechanisms, recognition of carbon sinks and compliance are yet to be settled" Mr Polson said.

"No other country is facing the same issues. New Zealand is unique in having agriculture as the main contributor to its greenhouse gas profile. It is unclear what the implications will be, and a great deal more research is required" Mr Polson said.

"We can not ratify the protocol in the hope that science will eventually deliver."

"Consultation with the agricultural sector has been poor," Mr Polson said. "The agricultural sector has not been given sufficient opportunity to consider the implications of reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

"Agriculture is below its 1990 emission levels, and considering most of the tree planting since 1990 has been on farm land, it is irresponsible for the Government to get to this position without adequately consulting with the sector."

"Government can not afford to compromise a sector which makes such a significant contribution to the economy".

"New Zealand should follow Australia's example and back away from the Kyoto Protocol. Agriculture contributes 55% of New Zealand's 0.2% contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. Taking a principled stance on an issue that New Zealand can make little contribution to resolving makes no economic sense," Mr Polson concluded.

ENDS


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