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Innovation report ignores clean green opportunities

21 August 2012

Govt innovation report ignores clean green opportunities

The National Government’s latest report on innovation has yet again ignored the critical role green innovation will play in transforming our economy onto a more sustainable footing, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.

“The Government’s Building Innovation report identifies key problems in our innovation economy but simply repackages old ideas that have left New Zealand investing less than half the OECD average on R&D,” said Dr Norman.

“Four years in government and National is failing to lead the innovation step change the New Zealand economy needs.

“National have ignored the advice from private sector entrepreneurs like Pure Advantage and ignored the advice from its own Green Growth Advisory Group which both support incentivising cleantech innovation that will drive the creation of a smart green economy.

“National’s gone from promising a ‘brighter future’ to producing brighter booklets.”

Dr Norman questioned National’s record on innovation four years on highlighting how its economic policy around business regulation was actually undermining innovation in the New Zealand economy.

“The National Government’s priority to weaken environmental regulations, like the Emissions Trading Scheme, are actually sending the wrong signals to private enterprise about the role of innovation in this economy,” Dr Norman said.

“Smart regulations go hand-in-hand with a smart, innovative economy.

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“Smart regulations encourage and reward innovation. A strong, clear Emissions Trading Scheme would incentivise companies to innovate to reduce their emissions. Under National, cleantech innovation has been disincentivised and users of dirty technology have been rewarded.

“The number of patents issued – a key measure of innovation – has flat-lined since National came to office. National are clearly not leading the economic transformation we need to create new, clean, and well-paid jobs.

“The Green Party would boost government R&D funding by $1 billion over three years and, transform current subsidies for polluters under the Emissions Trading Scheme into industry-related R&D expenditure.”

The Green Party's plan for our economy:

Report of the Commissioner of Patents, Trade Marks and Designs (see page 8):

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