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Kyoto Economic Report Lacks Credibility

NEWS RELEASE: 3 DECEMBER 2001

The claim in a report released today that New Zealand’s economic growth will be damaged by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on climate change has little credibility, the Ecologic Foundation said.

“The conclusion that economic growth will drop by one percent can only be sustained on the basis of unrealistic scenarios about government policies, which the Government has already said it is not going to implement,” Ecologic’s executive director Guy Salmon said today.

“This report has been dressed up to secure headlines that suit its clients, which are a group of energy-intensive industries and those who supply them with fossil fuels.

“A more objective and comprehensive report, prepared for the Government by ABARE of Australia, models six scenarios all of which show positive growth in GNP from ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

“It is a pity that the ABARE report, which was released in October, has received no publicity at all.”

Mr Salmon said that the Kyoto Protocol would cause the price of petrol to rise by between two and three cents a litre over an eight year period.

“Most people are barely going to notice it.”

A few businesses could be more heavily affected, but the track record of successive governments has been to bend over backwards to make sure they are supported through specially negotiated greenhouse agreements and similar policies.

“It is pretty disgraceful that the very people who will get privileged treatment through the negotiated greenhouse agreements programme are now mounting a campaign to stop the Government signing the Kyoto Protocol.”

....ends

For further information please contact Guy Salmon on 025 201 3033

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