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Climate change consultation process begins

Thursday 18 October 2001 Media Statement

Climate change consultation process begins

The Government is beginning a nationwide consultation process on New Zealand’s response to climate change.

Pete Hodgson, Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, today released a consultation document and supporting material for public distribution over the next week.

“This process gives New Zealanders the opportunity to express their views on climate change and the international efforts to tackle it by reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Hodgson said.

“The Government has stated its intention to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change in September 2002 but we will be listening closely to the views of New Zealanders before making a formal decision on ratification next year.”

Meetings and forums, attended by ministers, will be held nationwide between November 5 and early December for interested members of the public, Maori, local government, and sector and industry groups.

“We are providing comprehensive information on climate change and policy options to ensure we have a public debate that is as well-informed as possible,” said Mr Hodgson. “The issues are complex and very wide-ranging and it is very important that people are able to take a broad view of New Zealand’s interests, rather than focusing on narrow sectoral concerns or misconceptions.”

The results of the consultation process will inform the development of legislation needed for ratification of the protocol. The Government expects to introduce this to Parliament by the middle of next year.

Further consultation early next year will follow Government decisions on preferred domestic policies to meet New Zealand’s climate change obligations. This will inform a second climate change Bill to be introduced to Parliament by 2003.

Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol would commit New Zealand to reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the first commitment period of 2008-2012, and trade emission permits to meet any difference.

ENDS

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