Greenpeace calls for stronger climate action - media release
December 11, 2006: Greenpeace is calling for stronger action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the wake of today's release of three major Government reports.
"We are in the 11th hour and playing for our survival. New Zealand needs bold, strong leadership, and we need it fast," said spokeswoman Cindy Baxter.
The three reports released today, outlining a draft energy strategy for New Zealand as well as proposals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions now and beyond 2012, were a good start but did not go far enough, she said.
"We urge the Government to urgently adopt policies that will reduce greenhouse pollution at the rate at which scientists say we must do if we are to avoid dangerous levels of climate change."
Cindy Baxter says there is real public understanding about the seriousness of climate change and increased understanding and commitment from political parties.
"All politicians will now be held accountable for their level of commitment," she said.
"New Zealanders need a clear statement from the Government that New Zealand will no longer build coal-fired power stations, such as the proposed Marsden B project, and that our Government is committed to 100 per cent renewable sources of electricity supply, which it stopped short of saying in today's announcements."
Greenpeace welcomes the Government move to put a price on climate-changing pollution, but is worried that emissions trading is too complicated to be implemented quickly.
"We need carrots and sticks," Cindy Baxter said. "The Government should reintroduce the carbon tax as an interim measure, along with incentives to encourage renewable energies, such as the proposed feed-in tariff."
Climate change and associated issues are Greenpeace's number one priority around the world.
"This is the major issue of our time. It's about survival of the planet and we're calling on all political leaders to have the courage to take bold steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions fast enough and on a big enough scale to actually solve the problem. That means cuts of 20 to 30 per cent by 2020 and 80 to 90 per cent by 2050.