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Govt fails to connect energy and climate change


Government fails to connect energy and climate change

Auckland: The Government’s final package of climate change policies, released today, shows a serious lack of intent in preventing dangerous climate change. The early depletion of Maui gas highlights the need for New Zealand to develop an energy strategy that should be framed by climate change commitments.

“The Government is failing to see the connection between New Zealand’s future energy supply and climate change policy. The two are intimately linked,” said Robbie Kelman, Greenpeace climate campaigner.

“The Government is talking about using coal to replace Maui gas. Coal is an eighteenth century product not a solution to a twenty first century problem.

“Any additional use of coal would be a disaster for climate change policy and offset any possible gains from the policy announced today.”

“At the same time the climate change package contains nothing to attract investment to develop solutions to climate change, such as large scale wind and solar energy industries in New Zealand.

The policy package also places an unhealthy burden on forest sinks to meet Kyoto commitments and avoids a carbon charge to 2007.

“Forest sinks are not a solution to climate change. They store small amounts of carbon dioxide for short periods of time and detract from action required to prevent dangerous climate change – the phase out of fossil fuels.

“The late introduction of a carbon charge, to at least two elections away, is an avoidance mechanism. Government should start the process to a sustainable energy future now. Delaying to 2007 is not leadership.”

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