16, Feb, 2005

Kyoto Protocol Welcomed

Category: ECO Inc

Kyoto Protocol Welcomed: NZ Urged to Turn Away from Coal, Extend Commitments
The entry today into force of the Kyoto Protocol was today welcomed by ECO, the national organisation that represents over 70 organisations with a concern for the environment.

“Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Minister Pete Hodgson deserves the thanks of all those concerned about the environment, the economic and environmental future of New Zealand and the integrity of the systems that keep the planet functioning,” ECO Spokesperson Cath Wallace said. “Hodgson has shown particular moral authority and perseverance and we are thankful for his efforts.”

“The tasks facing the government now will be to resist the denials and pressure from those who want to continue to pollute, who want to pretend there is not a problem or who want to free load on the future and the rest of the world’s efforts.”

“New Zealand will have to turn away from coal for power generation towards wind and solar, transport system redesign and towards using what we have much more efficiently. The good news is that this will provide both an economic dividend and a health dividend in healthier homes, as well as a less pressured environment.”

“Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol is vital. Implementation requires an early introduction of the carbon charge, transport system redesigns – and we applaud the government’s moves in these directions, but it needs more.
We need emission standards on vehicles, more action on methane and to drop the changes to the RMA that are aimed to ram through coal fired power stations, transmission line systems and a host of changes that will disadvantage the environment, communities and the truly renewable energy sector.

“Looking forward, there is an urgent need to extend the international commitments to greenhouse gas reductions – we must address not just the rate of emissions but reductions in the stocks of greenhouse gases.”

“Today we celebrate the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. That this is the day following the anniversary of the February 2004 floods should be a juxtaposition that causes some serious rethinking by some farming community leaders of their opposition to tackling greenhouse gas emissions.
It is a tragedy that the last laugh is on them – their years of denial must surely be over, as the world debates not whether we are facing climate change but how abrupt and damaging that climate change will be. New Zealand must move into serious implementation mode.

“We congratulate the government and call upon new Energy Minister Trevor Mallard to switch direction away from coal and to fostering transport and other energy efficiency, demand reduction and truly renewable supply sources.

For further information contact Cath Wallace on 04-463-5713