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Time to Start Again on Climate Change Legislation

Time to Start Again on Climate Change Legislation

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the National Party’s withdrawal of support for the emissions trading legislation.

“The legislation has been rushed and more work needs to be done to get it right,” said Chamber Chief Executive, Charles Finny.

“As the government’s proposed changes to the Bill are already so great, we believe there is a need to start again with another round of submissions.

“Taking another year to get things right won’t affect the timeline currently on the table.

“Addressing climate change should be a top priority for the global community but it requires a multilateral approach. We should be working more closely with other countries to design an effective policy not rushing ahead on our own. In the absence of multilateral action, working with Australia is good start.

“The costs of a unilateral emissions trading scheme would not be faced by our trading partners and so would result in New Zealand economic activity relocating offshore. In fact, global emissions might increase if that activity were to shift to economies with more lenient climate change policies.

“Furthermore, if we implement a flawed scheme we risk acting as a negative role model for other countries considering such a scheme. The implications for global emissions would be even worse under such a scenario.

“We accept there is an issue around forestry. We would be keen to work constructively with the Government on a solution.

“We believe a broad-based carbon tax accompanied by a corresponding reduction in income tax would be better than an emissions trading scheme.

“If the government wants to do something in the short term, the way forward is a carbon tax,” Mr Finny concluded.


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