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National-Act Agreement - a step backwards

Wellington - Sunday 16 November 2008

National-Act Agreement - a step backwards in environment policy

National-Act Agreement is likely to threaten the local and global environment and communities. says Environment and Conservation Organisations (ECO).

Local Government has embarked on consultative processes under both the Resource Management Act and the Local Government Act allowing communities to define the objectives yet Mr Hide as Local Government Minister is likely to want to override them. "The communities and the environment will suffer," said ECO spokesperson Cath Wallace.

"The Resource Management Act has an important role in protecting New Zealand's threatened biodiversity, improving water quality, air quality, and making communities more sustainable."

National and ACT by putting on hold climate change action and reviewing the emissions trading regime is making New Zealand an irrelevancy in international negotiations in the lead up to the crucial Demark meeting on Climate Change at the end of next year 2009..

"It is a surprise that National is putting the ETS on hold when it claimed it was their idea to have an emission trading system and that they take climate change seriously," Said Cath Wallace.

"New Zealand has had reviews nearly every year on climate policy from 1992 to 1997 until the emissions trading regime was decided on."

"The ETS combined with the moratorium on large new thermal generation would have for the first time placed a price on carbon and have provided investors in cleaner technology with some degree of certainty."

"The climate crisis is more important than the financial crisis. We can't continue stealing from the future by polluting the only planet we have. Indeed, climate change is already occurring. "Delays will disadvantage ourselves and our economy," said Cath Wallace.

"The economy, Pacific and coastal communities and the future will be seriously harmed by our emissions and inaction - yet if we get busy with emissions reductions now, not only do we have some time to adjust, but we will be setting ourselves on a much better path for the future."

"This agreement has come at a time of new and compelling information on acidification of the seas caused by increased carbon dioxide levels."

"This policy procrastination will destabilise both the investment and the climate."


1. ECO - the Environment and Conservation Organisations was established in 1972 and represents 63 groups with a concern for the environment.


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