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Key speech again shows National short on substance

29 November 2006

Key's speech once again shows National short on substance

The Green Party is happy to see that the National Party's new leader John Key no longer denies the reality of climate change, but his declared interest in a Transtasman emissions trading system operating outside the Kyoto framework only raises a whole new set of credibility problems, Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

Ms Fitzsimons was commenting on a speech delivered in Queenstown today by National Party leader John Key.

"The National Party has long had a preference for carbon emissions trading. All very fine. But Mr Key doesn't seem to realise that emissions trading will only reduce the overall level of emissions if it has a ceiling, or cap, that reduces fairly substantially each year.

Otherwise, you're just moving emissions around within the system, and not reducing them.

"Kyoto is a cap and trade system, but Australia doesn't belong to the Kyoto process. So Mr Key is talking about linking into a proposed emissions market that would have no cap at all, and therefore lacks credibility," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"Furthermore, Mr Key chose to set up in his speech a false conflict between the economy and the environment, when he talked about weighing the effects upon the economy of taking action on climate change.

"This is a tired and outdated approach. The recently released Stern Report in the United Kingdom has said that the global economy will crash if we don't address climate change. It is not an either / or option. We must do both, and by doing so, we enhance both.

"Finally, Mr Key's dismissal of the 'Buy Kiwi Made' programme is also quite obsolete. Local manufacturing contributes solidly to our export drive, and it contributes to New Zealand communities in ways that Mr Key simply cannot grasp.

"That is why the 'Buy Kiwi Made' moves to assist local manufacturing enjoy wide public support. Moreover, Mr Key doesn't seem to realise that the infrastructure of local manufacturing provides an essential platform and skills base for several of the value-added parts of our economy.

"The Green Party is willing to work with anyone with whom we can share common goals. We will be watching very closely to see if the fine words uttered by Labour and National on the environment are credible, and whether those words are matched by actions that genuinely benefit the environment."


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