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Coal Will Dig us a Deeper Hole

Coal Will Dig us a Deeper Hole

Auckland, Tuesday 30 March, 2004: Greenpeace NZ welcomes Meridian Energy's announcement on Monday that it will not proceed with Project Aqua.

"Stopping another destructive hydro scheme is a fantastic win for the New Zealand environment," said climate campaigner, Vanessa Atkinson. "But the Government should not jump out of the frying pan and into the fire by promoting coal as the alternative. This knee-jerk reaction only swaps one set of problems with another. What we need is a considered renewable energy strategy for our future."

"Coal produces the most carbon dioxide of any fossil fuel when burned which contributes to global warming, and needs to be phased out as an energy source. It is impossible for a 'clean coal' fired plant to prevent climate pollution," said Ms Atkinson.

"National, NZ First and Act would have us believe that coal is a good alternative - but it is totally irresponsible to promote coal. The Government is still tallying up the bill for recent extreme weather events in the Manawatu, Wellington and Picton - so far pitched around $150 to $200 million. The costs of changing our climate is blatantly obvious, and it is time we seriously considered addressing climate change when looking at the energy sector."

Only last week, top New Zealand climate scientist Jim Salinger said global warming means New Zealanders should get used to more extreme weather events similar to last month's severe storms.

"Our commitment to the Kyoto Protocol must be as strong as ever. The proposed carbon tax is an essential dissuasion to curb lazy decisions that maintain our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. The impact of recent storms are a wake-up call that there are real costs to burning coal and other fossil fuels," concluded Ms Atkinson.

Greenpeace released 'Winds of Change' last year - a report on the fantastic wind potential for New Zealand's electricity generation. See it online at: http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/pdf/WindsOfChange_exec_summ.pdf

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