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Thursday, August 14

Nats propose higher emissions, higher prices

John Key has once again shown his lack of commitment to take action against climate change by unveiling an energy policy that would see greenhouse gas emissions rise further and increase costs to consumers.

"While the rest of the developed world is turning its back on fossil fuels, John Key's Party would gamble your children's future on gas and coal, despite New Zealand's abundance of renewable energy," Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen said.

"John Key - who has called climate change a ‘hoax'* - has shown his true colours with a vague and backward looking policy that pays lip service to renewable energy. National stands for no action on global climate change, no environmental standards and no hope or vision.

"It is incomprehensible how National could get up and release an energy policy that promotes the use of non-renewable energy without providing the details of their so-called emissions trading policy.

"Without these details, today's announcement is simply a mandate for heavier reliance on coal and gas - which is not the way of the future.

"The question people need to ask John Key is if he really believes in an emissions trading scheme, why did National backtrack on its commitment to support the one currently before Parliament? Until they front up on their emissions trading policy, then asking the public to trust National that no more coal stations would be built just doesn't stack up," Dr Cullen said.

In his speech today, John Key ignored the fact that New Zealanders and a majority of electricity generators support the Labour-led government's target for 90 percent renewable electricity by 2025 with huge investment currently underway in geothermal and wind generation.

"National tried to talk up an energy crisis this winter to provide an excuse for proposals to saddle New Zealand with more coal and gas, even though renewable geothermal energy can fully provide New Zealanders with security of electricity supply. The Resource Management Act has facilitated around 900 MW of current projects (see table below) but once again National lets New Zealand down by making excuses to side-step environmental safeguards that give communities a say in what goes ahead in their backyards, Dr Cullen said.

Labour has a vision for a future of clean, renewable energy and New Zealand is on track to achieving th

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