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Claims MPs deny climate change

Published: 6:43PM Tuesday April 01, 2008 Source: ONE News

The National Party is under fire over claims some of its senior MPs are lukewarm on the issue of climate change.
Ice caps are melting worldwide and world leaders are trying to find a solution to what many believe is the biggest problem facing the planet, with scientists predicting dire consequences if no action is taken.

Several sources approached ONE News saying both Lockwood Smith and Maurice Williamson told audiences in the last week they did not believe in global warming.

But both Smith and Williamson have refused to confirm the statements and both say they support the National Party's position on global warming when questioned, but have refused to comment on their personal views regarding global warming and climate change.

Transport accounts for 19% of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions and Maurice Williamson also happens to be National's Transport spokesman.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen says it's a credibility issue for National.

"It's a little bit silly I think for opposition spokespeople in New Zealand to decide that they know better than the vast overwhelming consensus of international scientists," says Cullen.

National's potential coalition partner, ACT, is also sceptical.

Rodney Hide has said that the climate change scenario is overblown.

"The emissions trading scheme that is now before parliament is going to cost us billions of dollars," says Hide.

Tuesday's revelations may cost National some political capital, especially given party leader John Key is only a recent convert to climate change.

But when asked, Key says he was relaxed, saying the party members had a range of views on various subjects and had the right to hold them, but most important was that in the end they stuck to party policy, whatever their personal views.