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Caritas Calls for Kyoto Cooperation

MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5 JULY 2006

Caritas Calls for Kyoto Cooperation

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, the Catholic agency for justice, peace and development, believes the Government should not play down the importance of the Kyoto protocol in reducing global climate change.

“The Kyoto protocol is the only agreement the international community has on reducing climate change. Rather than abandoning its targets, the government needs to reiterate Kyoto’s importance in the international arena, to ensure other countries stick to the deal,” says Caritas’ Director Michael Smith.

The effects of climate change are already apparent in the Pacific. “Greater intensity of storms, seepage of salt water into fresh water supplies, and changes to food supply are some of the practical problems we have to address,” says Mr Smith.

“We have to remember that climate change is not just about energy use. There are significant human implications with climate change – such as the predicted 1 million environmental refuges likely to be displaced in the Pacific alone, by the end of this century,” says Mr Smith.

“Unless the issue of climate change is addressed at the both the national and international level, we will continue to see an increase in natural disasters, loss of food production, and displacement of people in the Pacific and around the world,” states Mr Smith.

Caritas is looking forward to hearing Climate Change Minister David Parker speak at the Caritas Oceania forum in two weeks’ time, which will focus on environmental justice. Environmental justice will also be the theme of Social Justice Week in the Catholic Church in September this year.

ENDS

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