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

 


Forest owners given another ETS whack

FOREST OWNERS ASSOCIATION
MEDIA RELEASE
16 May 2014


Forest owners given another ETS whack


A measure hidden in the fine print of the Budget has forest owners wondering why they are again being unfairly singled out.

In a Bill that is expected to become law today, forest owners planning to pay their emissions obligations with international units will no longer be able to do so. These units, which typically sell for about a tenth of the price of NZ units, will still be legal tender for power companies and other emitters.

“Forest owners who have bought international units to meet their obligations during the next 12 months will be forced to sell them at a likely loss,” says Forest Owners Association president Paul Nicholls.

“The number of forest owners directly affected is unknown but all forest growers will be concerned by the inequity of this. For the second time in the tawdry history of the ETS, forest owners are being hit by retrospective legislation.”

Mr Nicholls says the Bill is designed to stop arbitraging by forest owners – a form of trading which enables participants in the ETS to profit by selling high value NZ units while meeting their obligations using cheaper international units.

“But it also captures everyday forest owners who entered the ETS in good faith and who now want to exit because it isn’t worth the candle. Small forest owners and iwi will be disproportionately affected.

“Meanwhile power companies and other emitters will be allowed to arbitrage for another year.”

FOA chief executive David Rhodes says arbitraging does not benefit New Zealand or the climate in any way, but it is an inevitable result of allowing unrestricted volumes of cheap international units into the country.

“We, along with Maori interests, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, environmental groups have repeatedly told the government that these units undermine New Zealand’s ability to address climate change.

“Finally they’ve decided to act. But why now? Why with such urgency? Why retrospectively? And why only forestry?”

He says there is a deep irony that the only industry that has consistently criticised the use of international units in the ETS has been singled out in this way.

“Minister Groser announced last December that non-New Zealand units would not be able to be used in the ETS from mid-2015. This provided ample time for players to adjust ... except for post-1989 forest owners, for whom mid-2015 has now suddenly become yesterday,” says Mr Rhodes.

“For forest owners this continues a series of decisions by this government which are as baffling as they are inequitable. The forest sector had considerable potential to help New Zealand meet its 2020 emissions targets, but that potential has largely been squandered.

“Far from being a part of the solution, forestry is going to become part of the problem because lots of trees planted in the 1990s are approaching the harvest age of 30 years and new planting to offset those harvest emissions has been stalled for several years.”

[ends]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news