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Anderton Comments "Unhelpful"

Anderton Comments "Unhelpful"

Forest owners say comments by Forestry Minister Jim Anderton this afternoon on the ownership of carbon credits are unhelpful to relations between government and industry.

This morning, Climate Change Minister David Parker released a climate change work programme that says decisions will be made shortly about whether to “expose [forestry] investors through legislation to the value of emission credits and associated deforestation liabilities under the Kyoto Protocol”. This has been welcomed by forest owners.

However, this afternoon, Forestry Minister Jim Anderton appeared to prejudge the results of the Government’s work programme by criticising the industry’s view that forest owners have a property right to the carbon in their forests.

Kyoto Forestry Association (KFA) spokesman Roger Dickie downplayed Mr Anderton’s comments saying: “Forest owners accept that Mr Parker’s formal Cabinet Paper represents government policy and will set aside Mr Anderton’s unhelpful comments”.

Mr Dickie said it was disappointing that Mr Anderton seemed to prefer arguing with the industry rather than listening to it.

“If he doubts that there is a property right in that carbon he should reflect on what would happen were Kyoto forest owners to simply cut down all our trees. He should also listen to the Government’s economic advisors at the Treasury who have said that Kyoto created a new property right, being the carbon sequestered in our trees.

“Mr Anderton must appreciate that the forestry industry does not want some subsidy or incentive package. We just want our property rights respected, and are prepared to accept both the value and liabilities that would come with our carbon credits.”


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