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Pan industry grouping formed to handle Kyoto

Climate Change
Pan Industry Group

November 22, 2001

Pan industry grouping formed to handle Kyoto policy concerns

“A coalition of New Zealand business organisations spanning the electricity, petroleum, gas, forestry, agriculture, cement and transport industries has come together to work on Kyoto climate change policies. This coalition has formed because of rising concerns about the current direction of Government policy”, Pan Industry Group spokesman Chris Baker said in a statement today.

The major concerns are the integrity of the overall process, and the Government’s dismissal of the economic risk the Kyoto Protocol represents to NZ.

“We are united in our concern. We don’t want to see our economy sacrificed and we want to see the process allow sufficient time for the full impacts to be understood.

“We all agree the current Government consultation exercise is far too rushed and the outcome appears to have been predetermined by the Government. Our aim is to protect our economy and make sure New Zealand’s contribution is commensurate with the gain for the global environment”, Mr Baker said.

“Industry accepts there is a global warming problem and that New Zealand should be part of the solution. However it should not be forgotten that our economy’s unique characteristics, including a high dependence on energy, means that putting a cost on greenhouse emissions could prove very damaging to the economy and employment. None of our main trading partners - Australia, US and Japan – have said they will ratify next year. New Zealand trades or competes substantially with non-Kyoto Protocol countries (Asia, South America).

“We risk damaging our economy, reducing employment and exporting industries offshore to countries that are outside the Kyoto agreement. The risks are very high and should not be discounted in the haste to be seen as good citizens of the world”.

One of the Pan Industry Group members, the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, has commissioned a report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, to be released shortly, which shows why the Government should proceed with great caution with regard to the Kyoto Protocol.

The group represents a diverse and comprehensive range of companies and organisations in the primary, industrial, commercial and energy sectors, including; The Greenhouse Policy Coalition; Business New Zealand, Forest Industries Council; Petroleum Exploration Association of NZ; Road Transport Forum; Building Industry Federation.

“We want a genuine dialogue with the Government where all the facts are on the table and the costs and benefits can be frankly discussed and assessed in a reasonable timeframe. This has not yet happened and our concerns are that the consultation process is not much more than a box ticking exercise”.

ENDS

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