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Climate Change not Just a Green Issue.


18 March 2002
PR32/02
Climate Change not Just a Green Issue

Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson is questioning the motives of the newly formed Climate Defence Network in asking the Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol when the full range of costs and benefits remain unknown.

The Government's National Interest Analysis specifically states that "the most recent New Zealand-specific assessment of climate change impacts by the New Zealand Climate Change Programme was not able to determine whether climate change would bring about a net cost or benefit to New Zealand in the short term or at what point any positive impact could turn negative."

"This inconclusive assessment makes it very difficult to determine whether it is in New Zealand's interests to ratify the Kyoto Protocol," said Mr Polson. "Perhaps more important than the positive or negative aspects of climate change is the potential impact the Kyoto Protocol will have on reducing climate change.

"As the Government appears unable to show what impact domestic action to reduce emissions will have on reducing climate change globally and domestically, one needs to seriously question how New Zealand will benefit from becoming a party to the Kyoto Protocol.

"Federated Farmers is advocating that New Zealand gets on with addressing climate change without binding itself to stringent rules and regulations with potentially devastating impacts in the future.

"Although Australia intends to remain outside the Protocol it remains committed to reducing its Kyoto targets. Given New Zealand's unique greenhouse gas profile this is the sort of approach this country needs to consider.

"There is no point rushing into high cost, low impact action where a more cautious approach could allow time to develop low cost, high impact options to reduce the negative effects of climate change."

ENDS

For more information: Alistair Polson PH 06 342 2853 or 025 350 085 Jacob Haronga PH 04 473 7269 or 021 126 2219

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