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Time for Honesty on Climate Change

09 November 2001 PR170/01

Time for Honesty on Climate Change

Federated Farmers Vice President Tom Lambie is calling for Hon Pete Hodgson to front up to all New Zealanders about the full impact of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

"It is wholly inappropriate for the Minister to be signalling New Zealand's intention to ratify the Protocol on the international stage, when back home the Government is only just beginning to raise the issue with the public, said Mr Lambie.

"The Minister has been quick to point out the potential environmental reality of climate change such as floods, drought, and storms while pushing the Kyoto Protocol as the only solution. However, he has not been forthcoming on the negative economic implications of the Government ratifying the Protocol.

"From the beginning of its involvement in the Climate Change issue Federated Farmers has voiced its concerns regarding the potentially devastating impact the Kyoto Protocol will have on an agriculture sector which provides 200,000 jobs.

"As a lightly industrialised nation, the Kyoto Protocol will have the most impact on the agriculture and transport sectors.

"New Zealand is the only member of the Umbrella Group which comprises of key trading partners such as the United States, Australia and Japan to commit to the Protocol. While it is admirable of the Government to take a lead on this issue, the reality is that the economic threats from ratification have not been analysed or addressed.

"The Government's policy response will decide the extent to which the Kyoto Protocol will impact on this country. New Zealanders need to know how Government intends to honour the commitments and obligations under the Protocol before making informed decisions on ratification and contributing to a balance debate of the issues."

ENDS

For more information: Tom Lambie, PH 04 473 7269 or 026 113 161 Jacob Haronga, PH 04 473 7269 or 021 126 2219


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