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Nats already breaking promises on climate change

National already breaking promises on climate change

National leader John Key's u-turn on the Emissions Trading Scheme is his first broken promise, the outgoing Minister for Climate Change Issues David Parker said today.

"John Key said clearly during the election that he would keep but amend the ETS. Now he has said he will suspend it completely. The Act Party is his excuse, not his reason.

"National's idea of having a select committee examine whether or not climate change is really happening risks making NZ the laughing stock of the international community. At a time when the incoming US President, as well as the governments of China, Australia and the whole of Europe, are convinced by the scientific evidence that climate change is real, the idea that a Select Committee in New Zealand is better qualified to comment is patently ridiculous.

"National campaigned for years against a carbon tax and said they supported an emissions trading scheme, but now say they will look at a carbon tax instead. Clearly, this is just an exercise in dragging the chain for as long as possible.

"No other party in Parliament clings to the discredited belief that climate change is some vast conspiracy except Act, yet National is letting this fringe, anti-environment party set the agenda on climate change."

The real cost of the National government's dithering and delay over climate change is the loss of investment and jobs in New Zealand, David Parker said.

"National promised in its campaign it would have an amended Emissions Trading Scheme in place for the start of 2010, but now it is backtracking and claiming that date is only a 'preference'.

"As a result of the suspension of the ETS, we are already now hearing that investments in New Zealand forestry worth hundreds of millions of dollars are collapsing. The last thing we need during a time of international turmoil is policies that turn investors away instead of enticing them here. This is already costing jobs.

"Just as serious is the potential loss of brand value for New Zealand, as new Tourism Minister John Key attempts to promote New Zealand's clean green image abroad while at home he is busily dismantling all the environmental initiatives and protections that give that image substance.

"Labour will hold this National government to account for rising unemployment caused by these backward looking policies."


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