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Government's biofuels target too little, too late

Hon Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman

13 February 2007

Government's biofuels target too little, too late

The Government's 3.4% biofuels target by 2012 is too little, too late and will make negligible difference to the vacuum in New Zealand's climate change policy, says National's Environment spokesman, Dr Nick Smith.

"The Government has done nothing on biofuels for seven years, leaving New Zealand well behind other countries.

"It is only since National announced its policy proposal on biofuels in our Bluegreen Vision for New Zealand last year that the Labour-led Government has got moving.

"This small target of 3.46% set out beyond two future elections by a Government in its third term is pathetic.

"This announcement leaves open how New Zealand will meet its Kyoto commitments by 2012 because it will come into effect too late.

"Our emissions are 20% in excess of our Kyoto commitments from 2008 to 2012, and this announcement will do nothing to address this gaping hole in the Government's policy.

"The urgent priority in climate change policy is forestry. Plantings have plummeted and deforestation is rampant.

"The 11,000 hectares lost last year represents a loss of 1.2 million tonnes of carbon - double that gained by the biofuels target.

"No biofuels policy will be able to off-set the forest clearance disaster that is unfolding around New Zealand.

"Reversing forest loss must be the No 1 priority in climate change policy."

Ends

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