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Forest Owners Seek Payment For Carbon Credits

29th December 2003

PRESS RELEASE.

Kyoto Forest Owners Association Seek Payment For Stolen Carbon Credits

The Kyoto Forest Owners Association represents forest owners who have planted more than 200,000 ha in New Zealand since 1989.

Only forests planted after 1989 generate carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol. The Government projects that these Kyoto Forest sinks will generate $2.6 billion dollars in credits during the first Kyoto commitment period, 2008 to 2012.

The Government intends to nationalise these credits to satisfy their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

Many New Zealand and overseas investors planted forests budgeting that a significant part of their forest return would arise from the internationally tradable carbon credits generated.

No offer of compensation has been made to the owners of these forests sinks whose credits are worth $5,000 per ha in the first commitment period.

The inequity of this policy has already impacted significantly on new forest plantings and overseas investment in New Zealand.

The government has recognised that its sink policy may lead to fewer sink credits being generated, which is paradoxical when the entire intent of the Kyoto Protocol is to encourage the development of carbon sinks and reduce global warming.

Spokesman Roger Dickie said that this is possibly the largest private property theft in New Zealand’s history and Kyoto Forest Owners will take whatever action is necessary to ensure they receive equity in this matter.

ENDS

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