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NZ Taxpayers Face Huge Kyoto Bill

13 October 2006

NZ Taxpayers Face Kyoto Bill 1000 Times More Than Political Parties Electoral Over-spend

New Zealand taxpayers face a bill for their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol 1000 times more in total value than the amount of election over-spending by political parties identified this week by the Controller and Auditor-General, according to Bryan Leyland, of Auckland, chairman of the economic panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. He was commenting on news that the Treasury has made an upward revision of New Zealand's Kyoto liability to $656 million.

"When you recall that little more than two years ago, the Government was forecasting a net gain for New Zealand of $500 million from the sale of emission credits, this is a turn-round of $1.156 billion," said Mr Leyland. "In fact, based on current international prices for emissions, the turn-around will be more than $1.5 billion.

"It's time New Zealanders in general, and the news media in particular began to pay attention to Kyoto and its potential costs, as it is some 1000 times more than the electoral over-spending that has headlined the news these past days. Just as the Auditor-General has defined that over-spend as outside the rules, so the notion of paying for carbon credits as an effective antidote to alleged global warming is contrary to current scientific evidence. The whole basis for Kyoto liabilities rests on totally unproven computer modelling.

"Those fund-hungry researchers and carbon traders who insist that the world is warning, and that it's all due to human-induced (anthropogenic) emissions of so-called greenhouse gases usually rest their arguments on assessment reports by the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They choose to ignore page 97 of its 2001 report (the most recent) that states:

"'The fact that the global mean temperature has increased since the late 19th century and that other trends have been observed does not necessarily mean that an anthropogenic effect on the climate system has been identified. Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so the observed change may be natural. A more detailed analysis is required to provide evidence of a human impact.'"

Mr Leyland said that the more detailed analysis advocated by IPCC is a long-term undertaking and is still in progress.

"More recent research into the sunspot cycle and other solar effects, and the relationship between cosmic radiation and cloud formation, has demonstrated that the natural cycles of climate change are infinitely complex, and that emissions of carbon dioxide by humans play only a very minor role in those changes. Certainly not enough of a role to justify saddling our people with a $1.5 billion cost under the Kyoto Protocol, from which there's still time for us to withdraw free of any charge.

"Political parties currently contemplating how to find the money to repay electoral over-spending, ought to be able to understand the feelings of taxpayers about paying 1000 times more for carbon credits that, if we believe the IPCC models, will make no measurable difference to world temperatures," Mr Leyland concluded.

ENDS

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