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NZIER Survey Confirms ETS Proposals Lack Support

NZIER Survey Confirms ETS Proposals Lack Support

“The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research survey released today confirms what the Business Roundtable has been saying: that the government has failed to make a robust case to the public that further action against climate change is in New Zealand’s interests, and that without public support any action is likely to be politically unsustainable”, Roger Kerr, executive director of the New Zealand Business Roundtable said.

The NZIER has stated that the research reveals little public support for the emissions trading scheme as proposed, and widespread concern about cost and employment impacts. “The Business Roundtable’s position is that proceeding with a low carbon tax or a much better designed and capped emissions trading scheme may be warranted and in New Zealand’s commercial interests, on the assumption that other countries, in particular Australia, make similar moves.

“But a prior requirement is a sound, publicly available demonstration of the case for action, involving a balanced analysis that recognises that nothing New Zealand can do will materially affect global temperatures or other countries’ policies, that New Zealand would be less affected than other countries by global warming, that modest warming would have a number of benefits for New Zealand, that significant emissions reductions would have significant costs, and that these must be set against the benefits of action which are mainly reputational.”

Mr Kerr said that the government has glossed over all these issues – the Treasury analysis behind the ETS bill is lamentably weak – and it has refused to engage with business on key issues in the bill. “It is not surprising that the NZIER’s research finds public support for the government’s plans lacking. Unless the public is taken into its confidence, no durable solutions will be found, and the pattern of previous aborted initiatives will be repeated.

This serves neither New Zealand’s economic nor its environmental interests well”, Mr Kerr concluded.


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