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Kyoto – billion dollar mistake

Kyoto – billion dollar mistake

The latest forecast for greenhouse gas emissions shows the Government has made a billion dollar mistake, says Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly.

“Last year the then Energy Minister Pete Hodgson predicted a surplus of carbon tax credits worth $500 million, and made much of this supposed advantage of New Zealand being an early signatory to the Kyoto Protocol.

“But forecasts released today show New Zealand will miss its emissions target and will instead need to buy around $500 million worth of credits to cover the shortfall.

“The development is a kick in the teeth for the business sector, which consistently argued against ratification of the Kyoto Protocol before our major trading partners (Australia and the US). New Zealand produces only 0.2% of world greenhouse gas emissions yet is being penalised as if we were big time polluters.

“The Government could have reduced the level of carbon tax to reduce the impact on business but chose not to do so.

“Businesses will now be faced with the carbon tax from 2007 as well as having to help pay for the shortfall. Overall, businesses, families and consumers will be faced with higher energy costs.”

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