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Government stance is economic and climate suicide

1 December 2008

Government's stance is economic and climate suicide

The Government is threatening New Zealand's economic future by backing away from targets to reduce greenhouse emissions in the Poznan climate talks, the Green Party says.

"New Zealand's exporters will be punished by consumers around the world if the new Government behaves like a climate criminal at the Poznan climate talks. The governments in our major markets of Australia, United States and the European Union have now all embraced the need to take action on climate change," Co-Leader Russel Norman says.

"For the New Zealand Government to turn up to the Poznan talks and attempt to prevent progress on setting a reduction target until they get special treatment on dairy emissions is an act of economic and climate suicide."

New Zealand's climate change ambassador, acting under instructions from the National/Act/Maori/United Government, said this morning that the Government would focus on Kyoto rules around farming and forestry - rather than show leadership on targets.

"Our actions to exclude our largest pollution sources, can only lead to other countries seeking to do the same. If this happens we undermine the talks and we will be targeted as a global climate criminal. Tourism Minister John Key will oversee a great leap backwards in our tourism industry.

"We need to be part of the global push to reduce emissions to save the future of humanity, not a part of the anti-science attempt to pretend we can carry on with business as usual.

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"There are many details of Kyoto that can be improved, but that can be done alongside the broader agreement to a scientifically-credible target. Indeed unwavering commitment to scientific targets would greatly enhance our negotiating power.

"The Government's stance on climate change is sending the wrong message to our businesses. The low-carbon world is rapidly approaching and business must be urged to develop technologies and industries that will see them prosper and profit in a low carbon world.

"The delay in the Emission Trading Scheme, and the Act Party's select committee to determine if the world is flat, mean that we are getting left behind the rest of the world.

"New Zealand has discredited itself on climate policy - both the Labour Government's record of 26 percent increase in emissions since 1990, and the National Government's systematic demolition of all domestic emissions reduction policy - but dragging the chain will simply slow the global response to the biggest challenge facing humanity."


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