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Deal with Two Crises at One Time

Russel Norman MP
Russel Norman MP
russel [dot] norman [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

The Green Party called for a Green New Deal in the House for the second day running today noting that the Deal will tackle both climate change and the economic crisis at the same time. Green New Deal packages are being implemented in the US, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Australia, Korea, China, and Mexico.

"John Key's government is creating uncertainty and then delaying action because of uncertainty," said Green Party Co-Leader Dr Russel Norman. "It's clear we need a Green New Deal for New Zealand and that it is more than home insulation and a national cycleway. It is a broad package of well-planned and targeted construction, transport and forestry initiatives that can deal with the two crises at once.

"A good starting point would be for the Government to swap rhetoric for action on climate change," said Dr Norman. "The review of New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme has delayed forestry planting in New Zealand which is exactly the type of work that creates jobs and generates carbon credits which means a healthier economy and a healthier environment."

In contrast to the worldwide backing for Green New Deal initiatives, Prime Minister John Key cautioned against a simultaneous approach today when responding to questions in the House. Mr Key expressed concern that a focus on greenhouse gas emissions would come at the cost of New Zealanders' jobs. Responding to Dr Norman this afternoon, the Prime Minister said that other world leaders were "not that focused on climate change at the moment" and that the Government's Special Select Committee would come up with the "right response" to climate change.

"This is the flaw in the Government's logic right now," said Dr Norman. "Almost every other country in the world understands that we can and should address the environmental and economic crisis simultaneously and profit from this approach."

Dr Norman provided international evidence supporting the Green Party's view with an Australian Treasury analysis showing that early action to address climate change was best for the environment and the economy.
Yesterday, questions from Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons saw Bill English, on behalf of the Prime Minister, talk about the National-led Government's focus on the Copenhagen round of climate change talks. However, the Copenhagen conference does not take place until December, 2009.

For further information please see.Australia Treasury - Low Pollution Future: The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation:http://www.treasury.gov.au/lowpollutionfuture/

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