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ETS review welcomed with open arms

23 December 2010

ETS review welcomed with open arms

Federated Farmers welcomes today’s announcement of the panel members that will be chairing the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review and will be pushing to keep agricultural emissions out.

“It’s important the review panel asks the right questions about how we are managing our emissions and how it compares to what our trading partners are up to,” says Don Nicolson Federated Farmers President.

“This is a good time to stop and do a stocktake of where we’re at with our ETS. In a world stuck in economic crisis these types of schemes have definitely gone on the backburner.

“Its time for our politicians to accept that we are alone in instigating a comprehensive, all sectors, all gasses ETS and we hope this review will reflect on this fact.

“Our Government has just announced an astonishing $15.6 billion cash deficit. How can we justify spending $1.06 billion on an ETS tax that not only raises the cost of living for every New Zealander, but funnels our capital offshore and will make no appreciable difference to our total emissions?

“New Zealand’s global emissions are apparently 0.2 percent on a world scale. As for followers, it's just us and the European Union. Even then, the EU scheme doesn’t count whole sectors, like agriculture.

“We need to find a balance between environmental responsibility and not imposing crippling costs on farmers.

“Much has been made of the UN Cancun climate change talks a week ago but there remains no successor treaty when Kyoto expires in 2013.

“From the looks of it there’s little global appetite for agriculture being included in any successor treaty. Nick Smith’s has pledged to keep biological emissions out of the ETS if our trading partners don’t follow suit. Federated Farmers wants the review to put that pledge in writing.

“More worrying is that we still haven’t even determined how we’ll measure the ETS as being a success or failure. We’re taking a multi-billion dollar gamble on a policy the rest of the world isn’t following.

“Federated Farmers believes, as it has since 1985, that spending money on research leads to efficient production systems and therefore efficient use of resources. The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases as well as our other research units fit the bill.

“The emerging international consensus to fund research into clean energy, helping developing economies grow economically, surely a fine ambition in a world with growing needs,” Mr Nicolson concluded.

ENDS

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