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Emissions targets kicked for touch

Media statement Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Emissions targets kicked for touch

The about face on the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme is welcome but its really a kick for touch beyond the election, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"This is the third flip flop by the government over climate change," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"They abandoned the carbon tax when business showed it wouldn't work and, along with the Greens, they are backtracking over biofuels, and now this.

"The delay in bringing transport fuels into the scheme by two years, and starting the free carbon dioxide allocations til 2018 won't impress the voters, as Chris Trotter pointed out in an Agenda programme last week, because these were going to be extra costs that consumers can ill afford.

"Neither do these changes do anything to address the 10 year moratorium on thermal electricity generation which is putting investment-led growth at risk.

"Nonetheless the changes bring New Zealand more into line with what our trading partners are doing. Business has been saying all along that this is vital. If other countries delay their timetables we might have to change tack again.

"In addition, ongoing increases in the price of transport fuels means there may be no need to include them at all in the emissions trading scheme.

"Hence the situation needs to be kept under close review and we must be ready to make further changes if the situation requires it."


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