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Kyoto liability tops $1 billion

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Climate Change Spokesman

5 May 2008

Kyoto liability tops $1 billion

Treasury figures released today that put New Zealand's Kyoto liability at over $1 billion for the first time demonstrate the extent of Labour's climate change failure, says National's Climate Change spokesman, Nick Smith.

"When New Zealand ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 Labour promised a surplus of $1.2 billion, and they have repeatedly dismissed claims by National and independent commentators that it was likely to cost a billion dollars.

"This latest figure of $1.009 billion shows how incompetent Labour has been on climate change.

"This blow-out in New Zealand's Kyoto liability is a consequence of the record levels of deforestation that have occurred since 2004 and the failure of Labour's costly and ineffective policies on greenhouse gas emissions.

"Far from heading toward carbon neutrality, emissions have gone up every year Labour has been in government. It's just not credible for Labour to talk about carbon neutrality when, despite spending millions of dollars over eight years, it has failed to even constrain the level of growth of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions.

"This billion dollar liability is the price of Labour's repeated costly policy failures. Its programs such as the negotiated greenhouse agreements, projects to reduce emissions, animal emissions levy, carbon tax, and solar water heating initiative have all turned to custard.

"Current initiatives of a biofuels sales obligation and its proposed emissions trading system are also now looking shaky.

"New direction is needed on climate change policy. National's approach will be less rhetoric and big spending and more practical, effective initiatives."

ENDS

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