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Top stories: 'Enemies' plea for climate leadership

Top stories in Carbon News today:

* Sector ‘enemies” unite in call for leadership on climate change

* Waihopai attack might hurt big global warming probe

* Planning revealed for Prince Charles rainforest visit

'Enemies' unite in plea for leadership on climate change

Two lobbyists AND MEMBERS OF THE Climate Change Leadership Forum, usually found on opposite sides, came together last night in a call for national leadership, co-operation and unity on climate change for the sake of all New Zealanders, the daily carbon market news service, Carbon news, reports this morning..

Federated Farmers chairman Charlie Pedersen and Greenpeace executive director Bunny McDiarmid – both members of the Forum that on Monday backed emissions trading as a way of managing and reducing New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions – called on New Zealanders to put aside sector interests and work together for the sake of the country.

Both told Carbon News that while they had some sympathy for the position Business New Zealand boss Phil O’Reilly had found himself in after his name was attached to Monday’s Leadership Forum statement, they were prepared to have their names associated with it because the stakes were so high for the whole of New Zealand.

The forum was set up in September to advise the Minister of Climate Change Issues, David Parker, and the Minister of Finance, Dr Michael Cullen. Its members include Maori, union and environmental leaders, the chief executives of some of our biggest companies, and industry groups like Federated Farmers and Business New Zealand, as well as government officials.

Yesterday, Phil O’Reilly, of Business New Zealand, moved to publicly dissociate himself from the leadership forum’s statement. In a media release, it said:

The forum’s chairman, Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall, said that while O’Reilly was entitled to disassociate himself from the statement, and agreed that he was not at the meeting at which it was discussed, he had been given the opportunity to comment on the proposal both before the meeting and afterwards.

McDiarmid said that Greenpeace had found it difficult to accept some aspects of the statement, and had asked that its opposition to free allocation of carbon credits be noted in the statement.

”Greenpeace has a lot of problems with the ETS, and it was a huge effort within the forum to reach an agreement. But it is essential that we do it,” she said she told Carbon News (www.carbonnews.co.nz).

“People seem to think that we have all the time in the world in which to do this, but we don’t. If we don’t do this as leaders, I don’t think that the public globally will stand for it.”

Pedersen said that he too had had a lot of difficulty in signing up to parts of the statement, but was prepared to for the sake of New Zealand.

Waihopai attack might hurt big global warming probe

The attack on the satellite earth station at Waihope, near Blenheim, could have imperiled New Zealand participation in what many believe to be the most sensitive and complex scientific study of global warming, Carbon news reveals this morning.

The study is the European Space Agency probe designed to sweep over the atmosphere in order to assess the state of ocean currents and thus the extent of global warming.

The probe is destined to provide key input on Earth’s gravitational field; the point being that gravity directs the circulation of ocean currents.

Ocean currents take one third of all the heat that falls on the equatorial regions and carries it to cooler latitudes via the Gulf Stream, among other current conduits.

The gravity and Ocean Circulation Explorer skims above the earth at a height of 240 kilometres. Its data is received by Waihope and other earth stations like it. The importance of Waihope is its proximity to the Antarctic.

The launch is scheduled in June via a Russian SS-19 missile. At first it was believed that the probe was a Russian initiative which would have made information sharing a major diplomatic initiative.

Prince Charles environmental visit planning revealed

Internal Affairs officials are in the early planning stages for a visit by the Prince of Wales and they have been advised by their UK counterparts it will be all business - rainforest business.

Carbon News (www.carbonnews.co.nz) report this morning “there is to be a minimum of fuss and the Prince is to be allowed to use his influence to point up the value of New Zealand’s rainforests in Northland and Westland”.

The Prince and his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, share what can be described as a passion for rainforests and their indigenous inhabitants.

Carbon news says the Prince has deliberately discarded the convention that the royals do not intervene in politics, and has stated that he will lobby world leaders to “value” their trees, as the he puts it.

There are 3.5 billion acres of rainforest on the planet, only half the area at the beginning of the 20th century. Around 30 million acres are now lost every year.

The Prince shares a London stage tonight with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to address business leaders on climate change.


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