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Highest net emissions ever under National Government

12 April 2013

Highest net emissions ever under National Government

New Zealand’s net greenhouse gas emissions have hit the highest level ever and are continuing to grow under the National Government, the Green Party said today.

The New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Inventory released today shows that New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased from 2010-2011, the most recent period for which data is available.

The inventory of 2011 emissions shows New Zealand's total emissions peaked in 2005, decreased between 2006 and 2009, and highlight an increasing trend from 2009 to 2011. Our net emissions (including forestry and land use change) have now increased to highest levels ever.

“National’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has resulted in emissions going up and they have no plan to turn that around,” Green Party climate change spokesperson Kennedy Graham said.

“Foresters are planning a chainsaw massacre because the low carbon price means, as the survey report said; ‘the carbon price is now no longer a deterrent to deforestation’.

“When the ETS was introduced in 2008 deforestation dropped dramatically, since National started meddling with it deforestation has increased, and now with the latest amendments, we face a situation where we would better off without an ETS in terms of forestry.

“Under National’s ETS more trees will be cut down than if there was no scheme. Depressingly the report notes that much of the converted land will be converted into dairying. That is just what we don’t need, more cows to create emissions and less trees to soak them up.

“The Government boasts that New Zealand will meet its Kyoto obligations for the 1st commitment period of 2008-12. While factually correct they ignore the fact the next 15 years are going to witness a massive deforestation, which will result in a soaring of our net emissions, and create a huge fiscal burden on the NZ taxpayer.

“Time has run out, we urgently need to stop subsidising polluters and put a real price on carbon to start reducing emissions.

“A Green government would look to reinforce a strong ETS that can actually result in domestic emissions reductions, or look at other ways of introducing a fixed price that would achieve the same result,” Dr Graham said.

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