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National puts emphasis on environment with paper

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

6 October 2006

National puts emphasis on environment with paper

National is putting the environment at the forefront of its policy development with the release of its 30-page discussion paper, says National Party Leader Don Brash.

Dr Brash released the paper, 'A Bluegreen Vision for New Zealand'', at Wellington's Karori Wildlife Sanctuary today with Environment spokesman Nick Smith.

"New Zealand's environment is at the core of our quality of life, our national identity and our competitive advantage, yet it is not being well managed," Dr Brash says.

"The paper contains proposals across a range of environmental topics, including climate change, air and water quality, outdoor recreation, and biosecurity.

"For New Zealand to live up to its clean, green image we are proposing a Sustainability Investment Fund worth $1 billion over 10 years to help reduce pollution and save our unique flora and fauna.

"National thinks such a fund could play a key role in funding nature conservation, measures to reduce soil erosion, and air and water quality improvements.

"There has been an explosion of community conservation projects all over New Zealand, but they need government support to succeed.

"New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions are growing at three times the rate of Australia and four times the rate of the US, despite Labour's rhetoric on climate change.

"The paper proposes capping emissions from the electricity sector - which is the fastest growing emitter - as a first step, along with incentives for forestry plantings.

"The climate change proposals are like an insurance policy. Although there are still uncertainties around some of the science - and we will keep a close eye on the latest findings so our policy response remains appropriate - the majority of scientists believe greenhouse gases are causing climate change.

"As I indicated earlier this year, I want to see environmental policy added to our five core policy priorities ahead of the next election," says Dr Brash. "We are seeking submissions on the paper to help develop that policy."

ENDS

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