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Alliance calls for radical action on climate

Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sunday 10 December 2006

Alliance Party calls for radical action on climate change threat

The Alliance Party says that a new Government report shows New Zealand's commitment to combating climate change is mainly hot air and radical action is required.

Alliance Party climate change spokesperson Matthew Stephen says New Zealand's "clean green" image, critical to our tourism and agricultural industries, is a farce and does not measure up to the facts presented in the Ministry of Economic Development report.

He says New Zealand’s share of electricity from renewable and relatively carbon-free sources has reached its lowest point ever at 57 percent.

"The Labour Government is taking no serious measures to slow New Zealand’s runaway growth in electricity demand."

Mr Stephen says New Zealand is already well in breach of its Kyoto Protocol commitments, which require New Zealand to reduce its carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2008.

He says that because New Zealand has done little to reduce emissions, Kyoto is going to cost serious money to purchase entitlements – with Treasury already working out schemes to buy carbon credits from other countries.

"New Zealand’s carbon emissions per person remain some of the highest in the world as we increasingly rely on dirty sources of energy."

Mr Stephen says the Alliance takes climate change seriously and there needs to be major changes immediately to fix the problem.

He says the Alliance stands for subsidized housing insulation, the introduction of a carbon tax, the creation of a top-quality fully integrated public transport system, and increased Government investment in research and provision of sustainable forms of energy.

"All of these measures would address the environmental crisis as well as being a positive change for people, especially those on lower to middle incomes."

Mr Stephen says capitalist exploitation of our atmosphere endangers life as we know it, and the Alliance has the solutions – a socially planned economy and international solidarity on climate change.

ENDS

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