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Greenpeace says report exposes Government hypocrisy

Greenpeace says report exposes Government hypocrisy on climate change

Auckland, 9 December 2010 - Greenpeace has welcomed the report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment which recommends that proposals to exploit lignite coal reserves in the South Island, by the Government’s coal mining company Solid Energy, should be dropped.

Greenpeace New Zealand Climate Campaigner Nathan Argent says the report reveals the Government’s true colours and lays bare its proposals to dig up vast reserves of the planet’s dirtiest fossil fuel in the same week that Environment Minister Nick Smith is at the world climate talks in Mexico pledging to play a positive role in tackling environmental damage from climate change.

“It exposes the true hypocrisy at the heart of Government's commitment to tackling climate change. This would secure its membership to the global club of climate criminals - tarring us with the same brush as the Canadian government which plans to drain the last drops of oil from the environmentally destructive Tar Sands,” says Argent.

"These proposals to dig up vast reserves of lignite demonstrates a staggering disregard for the future of this planet and for New Zealand's prosperity. Lignite is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels and burning this will lead to a dramatic increase in climate wrecking emissions, cost the tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies, and cause irreparable damage to our clean, green reputation.

"This not only risks making New Zealand a global climate pariah but threatens to disqualify us from the global clean technology race. The Government should be looking to build a economy which makes the most of our vast renewable energy resources and flourishing clean technology companies. It would be grossly negligent to miss this opportunity to cash in on a multi-billion dollar bonanza and invest in a cleaner, more prosperous 21st Century economy.”

ENDS

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