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Russian Winter Won't Freeze Kyoto

3 December, 2003
Russian winter won't freeze Kyoto

The Green Party is urging the Government to ignore vague warnings from Moscow on ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, and to re-double its own efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

"The suggestion from a Kremlin economic advisor that Russia will not ratify the Protocol owes more to internal politicking than to reality," said Green Co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons today. "It's five years before Kyoto comes into force, and I fully expect Russia to be on board by then.

"It would be an absolute tragedy if New Zealand used the excuse of mixed signals from the Kremlin to reduce its own commitment to climate control.

"We currently put a tiny amount of resource into promoting energy efficiency and developing renewable energy sources like wind-, solar- and waste-power, in relation to the benefits that we can get from them."

"Energy efficiency and renewables save money, make our economy more efficient, reduce environmental damage and will help position us to be able to cope when oil gets priced out of use in a few years time.

"Climate change is an inescapable fact and every country on Earth - including Russia and the US - will eventually be forced to act. The later countries leave that action, the more drastic it will have to be. New Zealand has acknowledged the problem and the only way open to us is forward."


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