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Leadership Needed Now To Save Kyoto Protocol


Auckland, 31th March, 2001: Greenpeace New Zealand congratulates the New Zealand government on its continued commitment to ratifying the Kyoto Protocol by mid 2002 and its intention to urge the United States to remain involved in the Kyoto Protocol process.

“The spectre of runaway climate change is too grave for nations to abandon the Kyoto Protocol because of this unacceptable behaviour from the United States”, said Sue Connor Greenpeace New Zealand campaigner. “We urge the New Zealand government to remain strong in its commitment to this important international treaty and urge Australia to remain committed to the Kyoto Protocol.” (1)

Greenpeace International today called for decisive and strong leadership from the European Union to rescue the Kyoto Protocol on climate change after President Bush expressed his lack of support. EU Environment Ministers meeting this weekend have the first opportunity to set the direction for ratification minus the USA.

“The EU needs to focus now on ratifying the Kyoto Protocol itself and build a global coalition to ratify the Protocol without the United States. The EU Ministers meeting this weekend in Sweden must develop a concrete plan for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the end of this year so that the protocol can enter into force in 2002 without the USA,” said Bill Hare, Greenpeace International.

Greenpeace expressed grave concern that US global warming policy now appears to be totally run by large US companies such Exxon, Texaco, Chevron and along with coal interests. Hare said “The shocking and unprecedented trashing of the most important global environmental agreement ever has confirmed our worst fears that the White House has been colonized by oil and coal companies.”

Hare said that assertions that the Kyoto Protocol is dead if the US does not ratify were not correct. “European Union leadership is critical to securing this combination of countries ratifying the Kyoto Protocol so that it can enter into force by 2002”.
For more information:
Contact Bill Hare, Greenpeace International +49 170 905 7015; Sue Connor, Greenpeace New Zealand on 025 272 4044; Susan Cavanagh +31 6 212 969 10

(1) Australian Environment Minister Hill has stated that the Kyoto Protocol is dead if the US does not ratify.

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