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Emissions Trading Scheme an ‘impressive policy’

Hon David Parker
Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues
5 December 2007 Media Statement

Emissions Trading Scheme an ‘impressive policy’

The proposed New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme is an “impressive piece of policy development” and will form a significant part of New Zealand’s contribution to tackling climate change, according to an independent report released by Climate Change Minister David Parker today.

Legislation to establish the Emissions Trading Scheme was introduced to Parliament yesterday, in the form of the Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill.

The review of the Emissions Trading Scheme was commissioned by the government and undertaken by internationally-recognised consultant Dr Suzi Kerr, from the Wellington-based Motu Economic and Public Policy Research consultancy.

It calls the design of Emissions Trading Scheme an “impressive piece of policy development” which builds on lessons learned from existing emissions trading systems.

The Motu Report also says the robust design of the scheme will enable New Zealand to make credible commitments in international negotiations setting new greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for the period after 2012.

Dr Kerr’s review identified several areas needing further work, including:

- The prevention of environmental leakage – which could occur in the event of New Zealand companies reducing production to lower emissions only for companies from countries with no emissions trading scheme to increase their production and emissions

- The transition to an emissions trading scheme and how companies will be assisted

- How to ensure that the Emissions Trading Scheme is flexible enough to reflect changes and improvements in the scientific methodology of measuring greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Parker welcomed the assessment: “The Motu Report joins other independent assessments, including from overseas, which have endorsed the overall design. The positive reception the Emissions Trading Scheme is receiving reflects not only the care with which it was developed, but also widespread public acknowledgement that action to reduce emissions and make us more sustainable is necessary.

“We will continue to work with business, industry, community groups and Maori on key issues such as allocation, and further engagement will occur over the next year before these issues are settled.”

David Parker said the scheme will be an important tool in New Zealand’s contribution to tackling an international problem.

“The world must act on climate change, and New Zealand must contribute to the response.”

ENDS

Attachment: 1205_Motu_ETS_review.pdf

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