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NZ Won’t Impose Any Carbon Measurement Standards

Media Release

20 March 2008

New Zealand Won’t Impose Any Carbon Measurement Standards

New Zealand won’t impose any mandatory standards for organisations to measure their greenhouse gas emissions.

Instead, like assessing tax, it is going to be left to individual emitters, the new daily carbon market news service, Carbon news, reports this morning.

Self-assessment is the core theme in the New Zealandemissions trading scheme (ETS), Carbon News reports Dave Brash, general manager of the Treasury’s Emissions Trading Group, as saying.

Brash was responding to Carbon News inquiries as to who’s responsible for setting the standards, as the number of companies offering to verify organisations' emissions increases - along with the risk of them being victims of "greenwash" certificates and carbon credit purchases which might not hold up in offshore markets.

Earlier this week Carbon News revealed that, until this year’s re-assessment by state-owned carboNZero, the measurement of Grove Mill’s carbon footprint didn’t extend to the bottles it put its wine into. The new annual assessment included the bottles’ footprint in anticipation of a British standard requiring it. The standard did not exist when Grove Mill got its first certification. carboNZero is the pioneer and one of the most credible organisations in the certification field.

However, Brash says: “There’s no requirement for independent third-party verification set out in the [ETS] legislation, and we differ from the European Union in that respect.

"There’s the ability to do that through regulation but at the moment we’re very much modeling it on a self-assessment concept – like tax where there will be targeted audits done by the Crown administering agency but the compliance regime is designed to ensure people do it themselves rather than being required to.”

BNZ’s ALEXANDER ON NZ ETS: “We’ve got to pull finger.”

New Zealand needs to “pull its finger out” on an emissions trading scheme (ETS) before it’s overtaken by Australia, or the Europeans start using theirs as a trade barrier, Carbon News reports Bank of New Zealand chief economist Tony Alexander saying

Alexander is reacting to the soaring volumes of money being directed into global emissions trading, even as traditional securities are rocked by global economic uncertainty.

Oslo-based analyst Point Carbon this week announced that global carbon emissions trading soared to $75b ($US60b) in 2007 and looks set to top $115b ($US92b) this year.

The volume of carbon traded last year rose 64% to 2.7 billion tonnes (bt) from 1.6bt in 2006, and it’s expected to grow to 4.2bt this year.

Point Carbon estimated the price of carbon would reach $46/t ($US37/t) in 2010, up $11.25/t ($US9/t) on its estimate of a year ago. By 2020 carbon would be worth $67.50/t ($US54/t).

Last night the standard EUA was trading at euro21.68 (NZ$42.62) on the European carbon exchange, up Euro 0.38 (NZ$0.75c) since Monday. However, these figures did not reflect a flight by global investors out of traditional securities and into carbon, if for no other reason than that the European ETS is the only market up and running, Alexander told Carbon News.


Carbon News says while it wondered aloud this week if Air New Zealandcould learn sustainability lessons from Wal-Mart, the airline has released detail to all media on its employment of Shanghaicabin crew.

Carbon News says: “We understand this information may have been provided to certain media earlier, but they failed to publish it while the ‘sweat shop in the air’ allegations gathered steam. Its report poses the question: why not?


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