The Guardian attack on NZ’s green image totally unfair…

The Guardian article attack on New Zealand’s green image totally unfair…

The article in the British newspaper, The Guardian, claiming that New Zealand’s clean, green image is not up to its emission and environmental image has been attacked as being unfair and wrong because it failed to mention other important factors.

Writer Fred Pearce claimed NZ and othe countries “greenwashed” their images. When you make such extravagant statements as Mr Pearce, you need to do your homework carefully. While condemning other countries, Fred Pearce saved his vitriol for New Zealand. Quote: “My prize for the most shameless two fingers to the global community goes to New Zealand, a country that sells itself round the world as clean and green”.

NZ's green image

New Zealand’s Environmental Minister, Nick Smith, said he hoped online information would be updated once the full picture of his country’s emission targets were made available. He said New Zealand had no desire to be a leader in addressing climate change, but it would get its own house in order and hope critics from abroad did the same.

New Zealand was called a hypocrite because it allegedly preferred triumph of style over substance. Well, thats Fred Pearce’s opinion. It is true a lot of forests have been felled in recent years, but sustantial replanting had also occurred. But Pearce’s personal attacks of New Zealand society completely undermined whatever case he may thought he had against New Zealand.

65% of New Zealand’s electricity is produced from renewable sources, which is the highest in the OCED countries bar Iceland. 600,000 hectares of additional trees were grown in the 1990’s, which absorb carbon and offset new Zealand’s emissions. If these are taken into account the country is projected to meet its Kyoto pledge not to increase emissions from 1990 levels. Under current estimates it could actually exceed its target by 8 million tonnes.

Half of New Zealand’s emissions came from methane (produced by grazing animals) which does not stay in the atmosphere for as long as carbon dioxide, and is less harmful.

While its emissions have grown by 22%, its population has grown by 24% during the same period. The British population has been relatively static.

As for the reality of claims about New Zealand’s damaged environment, 65% of overseas tourists interviewed said New Zealand’s environment had exceeded their expectations and the other 35% said their expectations had been met.

&2% of international visitors to NZ in 2008 thought the environment was managed sustainably.

One would have to wonder where Fred Pearce got his information from? From a fiction book perhaps?

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