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Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements streamlined

20 April 2005
Media Statement

Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements streamlined

The government has streamlined the process through which companies can gain exemptions from the carbon tax.

The government has just completed a simplification of Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements (NGAs) making them more straightforward in an effort to reduce compliance costs. The changes were guided by feedback received from a consultation with firms likely to apply.

"This government is determined to play its part in the global effort to limit the extent and impact of climate change along with 147 other ratifying nations of the Kyoto Protocol. Our NGA policy enables us to take action to protect our environment and the Kiwi way of life for future generations at the same time as protecting our competitive advantage," says Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson.

Firms with NGAs can gain exemptions from the carbon tax in return for moving to world's best practice in emissions management. Firms whose international competitiveness would otherwise be at risk may apply for an NGA.

In particular, the process for defining world's best practice in emissions management, and the setting of a pathway against which progress towards attaining it is measured, have been simplified. Issues around the consequences of switching fuel supply have also been addressed. There has been no change to the tight eligibility test that applies.

Firms of any size may apply although, to date, these have typically been larger firms. Last week the government announced a pilot grants package to encourage energy intensive small and medium sized businesses to take up energy efficient technologies and practices.

NGAs have been signed with OceanaGold and the New Zealand Refining Company. The government is in negotiations with ACI Glass Packaging, Carter Holt Harvey, Fletcher Building, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, Newmont Waihi, and Norske Skog Tasman.

Briefings on the changes will be held in Auckland on 29 April, Christchurch on 2 May and Wellington on 3 May.

ENDS

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