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Fletcher Executives' Key Role In ETS Changes

MEDIA RELEASE

8th May 2008

Fletcher Executives Said To Have Played Key Role In Achieving Emissions Trading Policy Changes

The daily carbon market news service, Carbon News (www.carbonnews.co.nz), reports “highly reliable” sources as saying two senior Fletcher Building executives, Jonathan Ling and Hans Buwalda, were the key players in successfully lobbying Climate Change Minister David Parker for major changes to the emissions trading scheme, announced on Tuesday.

Mr Buwalda has told Carbon News the policy shift was the result of a long period of consultation between the Climate Change Leadership Forum and Government officials.

Fletcher Building’s environmental health and safety manager, Mr Buwalda told Carbon News that dealing with climate change was too critical to get wrong.

Asked about his key role, Carbon News reports Mr Buwalda he said it was the Forum that had been influential in this week’s changes which will delay transport entering the scheme until 2011 and will extend the protection given to heavy industrial emitters to at least 2018, and possibly 2030.

Mr Buwalda and boss, Fletcher Building chief executive Jonathan Ling, are members of the forum that was brought together by Climate Change Minister David Parker to advise on issues relating to climate change. Other members include business leaders, unionists, environmentalists, farmers and public servants.

The forum has several sub-groups or clusters working under it, and Mr Buwalda is on Cluster B, which is working on allocations.

Mr Buwalda told Carbon News that the bringing such a diverse mix of leaders together to work on policies was not common enough in New Zealand, although it was practiced in other countries.

It was disappointing that last year the Government had chosen to announce its policy first, before consulting others, but that the consultation was now bearing fruit, he said.

“It is clearly challenging for the forum to find consensus among such a wide group, but it has achieved it. Underlying all the debates is a solid support for climate change.”

The forum’s release last week of a 10-point statement supporting emissions trading as the “correct” way of dealing with New Zealand’s climate change emission countered another report, released last week by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, which said that having the Government pay New Zealand’s international climate emissions bill would be better for the economy than an ETS.

Mr Buwalda said Fletcher Building was not wedded to the free allocation of credits to heavy emitters, and had initially argued for import tariffs and export credits to protect New Zealand industry which was subject to emissions costs against the unfair advantage their competitors in countries with no carbon charges would have.

Fletcher Building made its submission to Parliament’s finance and expenditure select committee in Auckland yesterday.

ENDS

www.carbonnews.co.nz

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