Here’s a few extracts from the Prime Minister’s speech to the German Council for Sustainable Development yesterday:
…These considerations, along with great concern about the impact of climate change on our planet, were very much on the mind of my government when we moved to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in 2002.
…Perhaps at that time, we were a little ahead of public opinion in New Zealand, where there was still a tendency by many to focus on the costs of becoming more sustainable, rather than on the opportunities and on the importance of being part of the solution to a global problem.
…The strength of the scientific consensus about the damage we human beings collectively are doing to our planet can no longer be ignored.
…This concern now ranges from how to prevent the loss of precious biodiversity to how to prevent catastrophic economic impacts as well.
…That is why I have issued a challenge to New Zealand – that we could become the world’s first truly sustainable nation, and that we could even aspire to be a carbon neutral nation.
…The following year we passed new land transport legislation with its central purpose being to achieve “an integrated, safe, responsive, and sustainable land transport system.”
…There was also a fund established for projects to reduce emissions, available to incentivise electricity generation from sources like wind, or methane from rubbish dumps, which would otherwise have been uneconomic.