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Evidence Doesn't Justify Government Kyoto Zeal

Posted on 07 Nov 2002

“Regrettably the New Zealand Government has swallowed hook, line and sinker all aspects of the climate change mythology and the fundamentally flawed Kyoto Protocol,” ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley told Parliament today.

“Economic analysis undertaken by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research clearly shows that New Zealand’s headlong drive towards early ratification can only damage our economy by reducing the competitiveness of key industries and driving investment and jobs offshore.

Mr Shirley stated that the Kyoto Protocol is flawed on three accounts.  Firstly, it is grossly unfair with only OECD and Eastern European countries having any obligation whatsoever. 

The second reason is that even if we accept the climate change horror stories, the UN panel of scientists tells us that the Kyoto Protocol will not achieve the desired goal.  If all nations of the world were to accept their obligation then the Kyoto Protocol model tells us that we would only delay the impact by six years in the year 2100.

The third reason is that the Kyoto Protocol will cause severe damage to the New Zealand economy.  Both Australia and the United States have chosen not to ratify and at this stage New Zealand is the only Southern Hemisphere nation committing to the nonsense.  Our key trading partners and competitors will face no obligation whereas we shoot ourselves in the foot and encourage investment to relocate out of New Zealand to avoid carbon taxes.

“The Government’s response further compounds the situation.  Government is intending to appropriate the carbon credit property rights of foresters and use these to avoid the political embarrassment of imposing a carbon tax on pastoral farmers who are assessed to contribute 61% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas profile with the emission of methane and nitrous oxide.  The Government then proposes to place a levy on the farmers to engage in research under the threat that if they don’t pay the levy then they will pay a carbon tax.

“Government has then adopted a mechanism which give a preferred status and exemption to some industries while others will meet the full cost.  This is a recipe for movement towards a command economy where progressively Government takes control of all economic levers.  Instead of adopting an open and transparent tradable market instrument, the Government has instead adopted a highly selective and prescriptive response, which in turn is based on a flawed Protocol that is underpinned by uncertain science.

“ACT New Zealand strenuously opposes this legislation but recognises if the Government is determined to pass it, then it is utter folly to do so ahead of our key trading partners and competitors particularly the United States and Australia.”


Ken Shirley MP           
Phone:            04 470 6635  /  027 457 0877
Fax:                 04 473 3532

David Young, Press Secretary
Phone:            04 470 6644  /  027 478 4015