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Fonterra Counsels Kyoto Caution

Friday 21 December 2001 For Immediate Release


Fonterra Counsels Kyoto Caution

Fonterra's submission on the Government's Climate Change Consultation released 21 December 2001, recognises the importance of the issue and pledges the dairy industry's preparedness to play its part in meeting New Zealand's responsibility to reduce greenhouse gases.

Fonterra's submission calls for a measured approach which takes account of the fact that New Zealand's economy is agriculturally based, with 55% of methane emissions being generated by animals.

Fonterra CEO, Craig Norgate, said today that there is at present no means of reducing animal emissions and no accurate method of measurement. "Clearly, radical reduction in greenhouse gases could only be achieved through measures which would have serious economic consequences for the country," Mr Norgate said.

"To be effective, the Kyoto Protocol has to be truly global. New Zealand cannot make a significant difference by itself," Mr Norgate said. The wrong domestic policy could be counter-productive. The danger is that some economic activity will move off-shore to regions which are not bound by the Protocol negatively impacting on the New Zealand economy without resulting in any reduction in greenhouse gases.

"It should be noted that the dairy industry in New Zealand has a strong record of constant improvement in energy efficiency in its processing activities. Fonterra will continue to make improvements in this area."

Fonterra believes that science holds the key to identifying a viable solution to the problem. It strongly supports and will collaborate with the Government's research effort towards this end.


END

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