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National is committed to pursuing meaningful bipartisan progress on climate change, however, today’s statements by James Shaw that New Zealand should act ahead of the rest of the world are a real concern, National’s spokesperson for Climate Change Todd Muller says.

“National wants to see sensible, practical solutions, not extreme policies that would damage the economy and unnecessarily drive up costs for Kiwi households.

“We recognise the importance to New Zealanders – current and future – of addressing climate change and responsibly playing our part in a global response. Climate change is a truly global issue that all countries, and all economies, must grapple with in a collective effort.

“New Zealander’s want to play our part in a global effort and it is important that we are ambitious. But it is also important that our ambition moves at a pace that doesn’t leave our communities and businesses behind.

“As the true costs of the transition to a low carbon economy coalesce for communities, whether that be through higher food costs, increased petrol prices, or a slowing of the economy we should not lose sight of the fact that our country makes up less than one-fifth of one per cent of global emissions.

“We also need to act in step with the rest of the world so that our exporters aren’t unfairly disadvantaged. The consequences for our economy, jobs and the environment are too serious if we fail to respond to climate change responsibly.

“Long-lasting change requires broad and enduring support, so National wants to ensure that the economic impacts of the changes are considered alongside the environmental benefit.

“With consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill now closed, I am looking forward to working constructively with the Government to ensure New Zealand addresses this complex problem.

“The National Party is committed to seeking a bipartisan solution. As the conversation continues we will remain the voice of economic reason.”

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