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Gutted Emissions Trading Scheme damaging forestry

Moana Mackey
Climate Change Spokesperson

14 August 2013

Gutted Emissions Trading Scheme damaging forestry

A new report shows the gutted Emissions Trading Scheme is damaging the forestry sector, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey says.

“The annual ‘Section 89’ report on the ETS shows deforestation is rising and foresters are leaving the scheme in droves.

“The emissions associated with deforestation of pre-1990 forests have leapt by 35 per cent, from 231,000 tonnes last year to 8.2 million tonnes this year. Post-89 forests have surged from almost nothing to more than 9 million tonnes over the same period.”

“Despite promising the forestry sector it is a crucial part of our climate change response, the National Government has sat on its hands and allowed a flood of cheap international units to swamp the New Zealand market, undermining the New Zealand Unit (NZU) price,” Moana Mackey says.

“Minister Tim Groser promised last year that he would limit these units. He has failed to do this. My Members’ Bill in the ballot will restrict these cheap international units and require 50 per cent to be NZUs.”

Meanwhile information obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act shows the Government was advised its changes to the ETS would reduce demand for forestry units by 60 per cent from 2013-15 and by 90 per cent after 2015, she says.

"Officials warned the Government the ‘2 for 1’ subsidy was ‘fiscally expensive but inefficient’ and targeted allocations would be more effective at one-third the cost. The Government was also told the subsidy would only ‘slightly mitigate’ costs on businesses and households’.

“A Labour government will strengthen the ETS, rejoin Kyoto and provide support for industries which help reduce emissions such as forestry,” Moana Mackey says.

Section 89 report – see pages 2 and 24 for information cited.

ENDS

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