Greenpeace NZ Heralds Russia Ratifying Kyoto
Auckland: Greenpeace today heralded the news that the Russian Government has given the green light to the climate change treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (1), as a major step forward, but warned that New Zealand needed to take the issue more seriously.
The final decision on Russian ratification now rests with the Duma. If it votes in favour, the Kyoto Protocol will enter into force and become international law (2).
"As the earth is battered by increasing storms, floods and droughts, President Putin has brought us to a pivotal point in human history," said Greenpeace New Zealand campaign manager Cindy Baxter.
"The Kyoto Protocol is an important first step but we've still a long way to go to tackle climate change. We must stop relying on oil, coal and gas to meet our energy needs and urgently redirect our investment into safer, clean sources of energy such as wind, wave and solar power."
She noted that it was important that New Zealand remained committed to Kyoto. "While the world is looking at cutting emissions, little appears to be changing in New Zealand. Solid Energy is pushing the construction of two new coal-fired power stations, and our planning system recently rejected a proposed wind farm. It's time we took this issue seriously, at all levels of Government."
The Bush and Australian Administrations are out in the cold and the rest of the world can move forward as one to start tackling climate change, the greatest threat to civilisation the world has ever seen," she said.
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Notes to Editors: (1) The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the first global response to tackling global warming. As of July 29th 2004, the treaty had been ratified by 124 countries. Under Kyoto, industrialised countries, responsible for 55 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, are bound to cut emissions of a basket of six greenhouse gases by just over 5% for the period 2008-2012.
(2) If the Russian Duma votes in favour of the Kyoto Protocol, Russia will then submit an instrument of ratification to the United Nations in New York. Ninety days after the submission, the Kyoto Protocol will become international law.