Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Hodgson clears National's climate change confusion

05 October 2004

Hodgson clears National's climate change confusion

National MP Brian Connell's latest sadly confused statement on the Kyoto Protocol is another example of his bizarre anti-business rhetoric. His formula is to talk up problems that don't exist and then say they'll scare off business.

To set the record straight, the government's climate change policies include:

Foundation policies such as the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation strategy; now in its third year, the New Zealand Transport Strategy, and the New Zealand Waste Strategy. These polices will help reduce emissions and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Projects to Reduce Emissions – Through this programme, projects such as windfarms are rewarded for the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions they deliver. Allocation of internationally tradeable emissions units enables these projects to proceed when they would not otherwise be economic.

Emissions Charge – International action to limit greenhouse gases means that the environmental cost of greenhouse gas pollution will increasingly be factored into the cost of fossil fuels, through emissions trading requirements or emissions charges. If we are to remain competitive, New Zealand’s economy needs to adapt and move with this global shift. The government will introduce an emissions charge after 2007, set at the expected international price but capped at $25/tonne. All emissions charge revenue will be recycled back into the economy, so there will be no net increase in tax take for the government, and no net cost to the economy.

Major businesses whose competitiveness would be at risk from an emissions charge are being offered Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements (NGA). Through NGAs, companies move to international best practice in emissions management in return for being exempted from the emissions charge. This removes any incentive to move operations offshore because of climate change policy, and is expected to deliver enhanced environmental benefits over an emissions charge alone.

The international competitiveness of our farmers is being protected, by the government meeting the cost of all agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions. A research programme to find ways to reduce these emissions is now fully underway, jointly funded by the industry and government.

The government is managing both the credits and liabilities arising from Kyoto forest sinks, meaning foresters will face no harvest or change of land use costs for post-1990 forests. The government is also providing capped cover for the deforestation of pre-1990 forests, which do not attract credits, at a level far in excess of historical deforestation rates. This approach means there is no climate change related disincentive to invest in new forestry, and no climate change related costs for expected deforestation of pre-1990 forests.

Recent moves in Russia point towards the Protocol coming into force within the next few months. It is anticipated that the world price of emissions will become apparent soon after. This means the government will be able to finalise details of the emissions charge and the recycling of revenue within a year.

Unusually for a developed nation, New Zealand will be a net seller of some hundreds of millions of dollars worth of emissions units for the period 2008 – 2012. This stands to be a significant benefit to the economy that would not be available outside Kyoto. Negotiations for periods beyond 2012 are to start in 2005. No accurate forecast of the benefits or liabilities of meeting future targets beyond 2012 can be made in advance of those targets being set.

“The world is moving inevitably to a future where limits are set on greenhouse gas emissions. Rather than helping New Zealand’s businesses, farmers, and householders prepare for this future, the National Party’s do nothing attitude seems to be to pretend it’s not happening. National is also sending a clear signal to the international community that there is doubt about its commitment to stand by international agreements. New Zealanders deserve better", says Convenor, Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news