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Don't delay the ETS - get it right

1st May 2008

Don't delay the ETS - get it right

The Green Party says delaying the Emissions Trading Scheme will just cause more problems and higher costs.

"However a lot of changes are needed if we are going to get the ETS right," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says. "Agriculture must not be given a free ride for five years.

"The Sustainability Council report released two days ago shows that there are many low cost ways the farming industry could reduce emissions. But unless there is an economic incentive, this is not going to happen.

"The allocation of free credits to industry must be totally rethought.

"Giving all the credits to existing firms will stifle innovation and lock us into old technology. Giving them all to very large firms endangers the small and medium enterprises on which New Zealand's prosperity is based.

"The coal industry must pay for the methane emissions from their mines which are charged to New Zealand's account under the Kyoto Protocol.

"There must be incentives to capture this methane and use it to produce power, reducing its global warming potential to one twentieth of what it is now, and reducing the mining industry's energy demands on the West Coast rather than damming precious rivers like the Mokihinui.

"Every extra day we fail to include the true cost of carbon emissions in our decision making is a day we make more bad decisions and raise future costs," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"If done correctly, schemes like the ETS allow us all to invest in the future of our planet, instead of continuing to dismiss the economic value of a healthy environment."


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