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Hodgson Raises Serious Issues For Business

Climate Change Pan Industry Group

February 5, 2001

“Energy Minister Pete Hodgson’s statement of Friday 1 February, ‘Farmers should fear Climate Change, not Kyoto’, raises serious issues for the business sector”, Climate Change Pan Industry spokesman Chris Baker said today.

“The Minister has effectively said that the Greenhouse Gases (GHG’s) emitted by our cows and sheep (55% of NZ’s total GHG emissions), will not be reduced during the first commitment period, 2008-2012. This will happen because the research necessary to find economic ways of reducing methane emissions will take years, and even if successful, many more years before adoption is widespread and emissions are reduced.

“How then will the government ensure New Zealand reduces its GHG’s to 1990 levels when for the next decade or so, there will be no reduction from the sector that produces the most? Does this mean other industries, including those that process farm products, will be required to bear a larger share of the burden? Does the government intend keeping the forest sink credits for itself to offset the GHG’s produced by cows and sheep? Is the taxpayer going to have to pick up the tab?

“Until the government, the business community and unions work through these issues, no hard decision on ratification should be made”, Mr Baker said.


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