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Households and climate better off under Labour

Hon David Parker
Spokesperson on Energy and Climate Change Issues

5 November 2008 Media Statement
Households and climate better off under Labour

Labour is the only major party New Zealanders can trust to do the right thing for climate change, Labour's energy and climate change spokesperson David Parker said today, as he released Labour's energy and climate change policies.

"We're putting in place a billion-dollar energy efficiency fund that will make New Zealand homes warmer, drier and healthier. National would ditch it.

"Labour is committed to a fair and effective Emissions Trading Scheme that will see greenhouse gas polluters start to factor in the cost of their emissions. National wants to 'soften' the scheme, so taxpayers get the bill instead. If Act got their way, New Zealand would turn its back on our international obligations altogether, undermining the global consensus to work together on this problem.

"Labour has introduced a law to mandate the sale of sustainable biofuels in New Zealand, and this has given confidence to the burgeoning numbers of domestic biofuel producers. National would repeal the legislation and put that industry at risk.

"Labour is working with farmers and scientists to support world-leading research into reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and improving farm efficiency. National wants to scrap the R&D tax rebate and the $700 million Fast Forward fund."

David Parker said Labour's climate change policies were not only good for the environment, they were an investment in a stronger, more efficient, sustainable economy.

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"Our policies will provide more jobs during the predicted slump, they will future-proof our economy against future oil prices and they will help our businesses produce the sustainable goods and services the world is increasingly demanding."

David Parker said Labour would continue to build on the comprehensive range of climate change and energy policies it has already put in place:

• Implement an Emissions Trading Scheme covering all sectors and all gases
• Roll out the one billion-dollar household fund to make New Zealand homes warmer and drier through better insulation and clean heating
• Continue towards the goal of generating 90 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025
• Deliver to all households in 2010 a one-off electricity rebate to assist with power bills. Deliver to those receiving benefits, superannuation and Working for Families tax credits a targeted one-off cash payment
• Continue to support world leading research into new agricultural solutions
• Make New Zealand one of the first countries in the world to widely deploy electric vehicles. A Labour government would facilitate and plan for the introduction of nationwide infrastructure to recharge electric vehicles.

"Labour is investing in ways that will prepare New Zealand to weather the coming storms – both climactic and economic. We are investing in research, and putting the right price signals into our economy so we are ready to take advantages of the opportunities that arise for sustainable producers of goods and services.

"Now is not the time to put heads in the sand and ignore the urgency of climate change. Labour's policies will see our economy grow at the same time as we take meaningful action to respond to the very serious global threat of climate change."



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