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

 

Sky City : Auckland Convention Centre Cost Jumps By A Fifth

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator, is in talks with the government on how to fund the increased cost of as much as $130 million to build an international convention centre in downtown Auckland, with further gambling concessions ruled out. The Auckland-based company has increased its estimate to build the centre to between $470 million and $530 million as the construction boom across the country drives up building costs and design changes add to the bill.
More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: Mediation Between Lyttelton Port And Union Fails

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. More>>

Earlier:

Science Policy: Callaghan, NSC Funding Knocked In Submissions

Callaghan Innovation, which was last year allocated a budget of $566 million over four years to dish out research and development grants, and the National Science Challenges attracted criticism in submissions on the government’s draft national statement of science investment, with science funding largely seen as too fragmented. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

More:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news