Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Kyoto officials face forest lock-out

29 June 2005

Kyoto officials face forest lock-out

The NZ Forest Owners Association is suggesting to its members that they refuse entry to government officials intending to set up carbon monitoring plots in private forests.

President Peter Berg has confirmed that the association has suggested to its members that they not allow such entry to their forests until far more substantial consultation has taken place. He says the decision has been taken in response to members’ concerns, that it has not been taken lightly, and that it is not a preferred course of action.

The plots will provide baseline data to measure what the real levels of carbon are in New Zealand forests. This information will be required for determining how many credits are available and who may be facing liabilities and taxes associated with land-use change.

Mr Berg says the government, by their estimate, has nationalised around $2.5 billion worth of privately-owned carbon credits. Government estimated that half of this was surplus to meeting NZ’s emissions target, representing a very large “windfall” for them, in the minister’s own words. It is therefore particularly galling that they have also made forest owners liable for the loss of nationalised carbon credits if they don’t replant pre-1990 forests harvested after 2007.

“The very sector that New Zealand is relying on to meet its Kyoto obligations is the same one that is being penalised,” says Mr Berg.

“The government has a real cheek expecting forest owners to help them find a way to calculate a tax for changing land-use, after taking their carbon credits from them.”

The tax forms part of a package of government Kyoto policies which the association says is scaring forest investors away and encouraging owners of older forests to convert to them to dairy farms after harvest. For the first time in 100 years, the area of New Zealand in plantation forest is likely to fall.

Mr Berg says if forest owners got all or most of the value of their carbon credits then forest plantings, instead of falling, would be significantly increasing and soaking up greenhouse gases.

“New Zealand needs to be planting 60,000 new hectares of forest a year to meet the country’s greenhouse gas targets. If we fail to meet this target, every New Zealand family will be paying hundreds of dollars more in tax, to fund the carbon shortfall.”

He says the association would be working against the interests of its members if he asked them to co-operate with Kyoto officials.

“A number of them are so incensed with the government’s policies and minister Hodgson’s refusal to have any discussions with us, that they have already barred officials from entering their forests. I am happy to support them.”

The association - along with many other industry groups - advised the government to delay ratification of the Kyoto Protocol until the true costs to New Zealand had been established, and until the country’s major trading competitors had made their move.

“But the government went ahead anyway on the erroneous premise that New Zealand stood to make billions on dollars from signing. This windfall is now shown to have been a mirage,” Mr Berg says.

“This is very unfortunate for New Zealand. But unless there is a change of approach, the collapse in new plantings is likely to continue.

“The result of this will be a massive increase in New Zealand’s carbon liability, which will need to be funded by higher taxes and possibly reduced spending on social services.”

Mr Berg says forest owners want climate change minister Pete Hodgson to agree that positive changes to the government’s Kyoto policies are needed, so that further tree plantings are encouraged for the benefit of the environment and the economy.

“Minister Hodgson’s refusal to even discuss the need for a policy change demonstrates an extremely cavalier attitude and a lack of commercial understanding.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news