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National Party Environment and Climate Policy Too Weak

9 November 2011

National Party Environment and Climate Policy Too Weak

National's Climate and environmental policies released today are too weak, too slow, and inadequate, the Environment and Conservation Organisations (ECO) said today.

Disappointingly the environment policies are subservient to economic growth policies that run rough-shod over communities and the environment, said Cath Wallace, Co-chair of ECO.

"National's language introducing the policy claims to "preserve and protect" the environment, but this is not borne out by its policies, though the provisions for environmental reporting are welcome."

"The Bill relating to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf is welcome, but it has serious flaws too, and clearly envisages economic growth trumping environmental protection. There are no guarantees that our precious marine environment will actually be properly looked after.”

"National is also claiming "improvements" in air quality and in the Resource Management Act (RMA), but this is spin," said Cath Wallace.

"In fact stronger air quality standards have been deferred, and the RMA has been modified to speed up large projects with poorer environmental and community outcomes."

"National is now promising fast tracking of medium sized projects, and is making it ever-harder for people to participate.. It has already removed any pretence at public notification of all but a tiny percent of resource consent applications.

"Promised changes to the key Principles provisions of the RMA suggest that the environmental objectives are to be weakened in favour of economic interests."

"National talks about "improving" water quality and tackling climate change. In fact it is proposing to subsidise the intensification of farming by investing public money from asset sales in irrigation and by deferring liability of agriculture and other industries for their greenhouse gas emissions."

"It is lining the pockets of farmers and businesses at the expense of the environment and taxpayers."

"National talks of "improving" the Emissions Trading System but actually it is weakening it and passing costs on to taxpayers and future governments, yet it pretends it is lessening impacts on households."

ECO - the Environment and Conservation Organisations was established in 1972 and represents 60 groups with a concern for the environment.

www.eco.org.nz

ENDS

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