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An end to the clean and green brand?

Media Release
December 2, 2009

An end to the clean and green brand?

New Zealand’s clean and green brand is at risk of being exposed as an illusion, says Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey.

“The international spotlight is now on New Zealand’s environmental record. We are in danger of being revealed as a South Pacific fraud.

“In future we can’t market ourselves as clean and green if we don’t the lead on climate change.”

Mayor Harvey’s comments come ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

He is part of the Greenpeace Sign On campaign backing a commitment to reduce 40 carbon emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

A march to support the cause is expected to bring thousands to Queen St on Saturday.

It will be followed by a free concert featuring a speech by Mayor Harvey and performances by Keisha Castle-Hughes, Opshop and Don McGlashan.

“I encourage all Aucklanders to get out there and march on December 5.

“Not making a stand in Copenhagen has impacts across the board – from tourism to agriculture. It would be disastrous for our international standing,” says Mayor Harvey.

“The world’s consumers are choosing products with lower environmental impact. If we lose our eco-friendly brand it will cost us billions.”

Environmental commentator Fred Pearce has criticised New Zealand’s weak stance on carbon emissions.

He said New Zealand has given a “shameless two fingers to the world” by increasing its emissions 22 percent since signing the Kyoto Protocol.

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Its claims of clean and green eco-responsibility are “commercial greenwash” and a “green mirage", he said.

“This is just going to get worse. It could be the beginning of the end for ‘100% Pure’ New Zealand,” says Mayor Harvey.

“We’ve got to do better than to keep our place in the international market. Our identity is at stake.”

Mayor Harvey has been Mayor of Waitakere - New Zealand’s first eco-city – for 17 years.

He won a United Nations LivCom award for personal lifetime achievement in 2008.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

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