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Parker's Credibility on Line With Kyoto Details

MEDIA STATEMENT

Monday 26 June 2006

For Immediate Release

Parker’s Credibility on Line With Forthcoming Kyoto Details

Climate Change Minister David Parker’s credibility will be on the line when he soon provides an indication of the Government’s thinking on how best to implement the Kyoto Protocol in New Zealand, the Kyoto Forestry Association (KFA) said today.

There are reports Mr Parker will make announcements on new options for implementing Kyoto as early as this week and KFA spokesman Roger Dickie said foresters would be monitoring developments closely.

“Mr Parker’s announcements will indicate whether the Government is prepared to consider innovative market-based measures to implement Kyoto in New Zealand or whether it is stuck in its failed tax-and-subsidise mode,” Mr Dickie said.

KFA has been advocating market-based measures for Kyoto following the Government’s failed plans to confiscate carbon credits earned by owners of forests planted since 1 January 1990, impose a deforestation tax on the industry and tax all New Zealanders for their use of carbon while protecting big business and SOEs with Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements.

“When Mr Parker announced in December his intention to abandon the Government’s previous failed carbon tax proposal, we welcomed his signal that the Government wanted to take a forward-looking and pragmatic approach to Kyoto and forestry issues,” Mr Dickie said.

“It would be a shame if Mr Parker now returns to thinking the best way to implement Kyoto is with taxes and subsidies.

“Instead, we are hopeful he will indicate that the Government – like the Green, United Future and National parties – is prepared to consider market mechanisms that provide financial incentives to those who reduce pollution or plant trees, while disincentivising those who continue to pollute. We would like to see the Government indicating it was prepared to restore foresters’ ownership of our credits and link New Zealand into international carbon markets.

“An indication of such pragmatism would be strongly welcomed by forest owners and others in the business community.”

Mr Dickie said there was a real need for the Government to think outside the square with respect to Kyoto with strong rumours in Wellington that New Zealand’s Kyoto deficit is now forecast to be even worse than that $500 million deficit that former Climate Change Minister Pete Hodgson was forced to announce before last year’s election.

ENDS

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