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Chauvel: National ‘fast tracking’ in the dark

Charles Chauvel
Climate Change, Energy

17 December 2008 Media Statement

Chauvel: National ‘fast tracking’ in the dark

Labour climate change and energy spokesperson Charles Chauvel says it is astonishing that National is fast-tracking legislation to end a moratorium on new fossil-fuelled power stations at the same time as Prime Minister John Key is admitting that the issue is “complex”.

“In fact, John Key said on Morning Report this week that the Government is still working on the issue,” Charles Chauvel said.

“If an area is complex, and you’re still working on it, surely common sense alone suggests you don’t pass legislation on the issue under urgency.

“Instead, you think about it a bit more, you listen to the views of other New Zealanders, and then you take considered action. You don’t rush into legislation uncertain what the outcome will be,” he said.

“This is especially true when the issue of electricity generation is so crucial to the sort of country we want in the future.”

Mr Chauvel said: “In some ways, of course, I am actually not astonished at all. National is being rolled by its coalition partner ACT into reversing all the positive initiatives Labour put in place to combat the effects of climate change. The moratorium on fossil-fuelled power stations was one of the most enduring and significant of these measures. Now it is being rushed out of existence.

“The real irony is that in the same week as National and ACT are pedalling backwards as fast as Gerry Brownlee’s and Rodney Hide’s legs will allow, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has emphasised the importance of political will and leadership in tackling the ‘quintessential global threat’ of climate change.

“Leadership in the area of climate change is becoming a joke as far as this government is concerned. Unfortunately, they are making New Zealand an international joke at the same time.”


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