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NZ Intentions Unchanged On Kyoto Protocol

New Zealand is not backing away from the Kyoto Protocol says Pete Hodgson, the Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change.

"Contrary to a radio news report this morning, New Zealand is staying the course on Kyoto," Mr Hodgson said.

"It remains our intention to ratify the Protocol next year. That has always been based on the expectation that international negotiations would have resolved the rules well before then. New Zealand can't ratify a Protocol that is not ratifiable, which is a statement of the obvious I have repeated many times. It is not a statement that signifies any change in New Zealand's position.

"What came out of Kyoto in 1997 was a framework agreement. Important details on matters including international carbon trading mechanisms, recognition of carbon sinks and compliance are yet to be settled.

"New Zealand wants rules on these matters that are easy to understand and hard to break. That is what New Zealand has been pushing for in international negotiations. It is what I will be pushing for when negotiations resume next week in Bonn.

"New Zealand takes climate change very seriously. The Government is releasing a report on the expected impacts on New Zealand of climate change today. In Bonn we will do our utmost to have something workable come out of these negotiations as soon as possible."

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