NZ takes prize for 'shameless two fingers' to world
By Esther Goh
Updated 4:45 PM Friday Nov 13, 2009

A prominent British science writer has slammed New Zealand's clean, green reputation, calling it a "green mirage".

Guardian columnist Fred Pearce - an author and environment journalist - said New Zealand was falsely trading on a positive environmental image.

"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'," he wrote.

"New Zealand secured a generous Kyoto target, which simply required it not to increase its emissions between 1990 and 2010. But the latest UN statistics show its emissions of greenhouse gases up by 22 per cent, or a whopping 39 per cent if you look at emissions from fuel burning alone."

Pearce blamed the agricultural sector, high rates of car ownership and "filthy" coal-burning power stations for New Zealand's high emission of greenhouse gases.

More here.