Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Greenpeace: Don't subsidise polluting industries

Auckland May 7, 2008 –


Don't subsidise polluting industries at the expense of ordinary New Zealanders and the planet.

That's the message Greenpeace took to Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee today when it presented its submission on the Government's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and Renewables Preference Bill (1).

"We said very clearly that we support the general principle of the ETS, and that it can be rendered fair and effective by making polluters pay instead of taxpayers," said Greenpeace Political Advisor Geoff Keey.

Greenpeace's call for fairness follows the announcement of Government plans to water down the ETS by giving away more free pollution credits to the loudest business lobbies. It will do so by delaying the start of the phase-out period for the free pollution credits and delaying the transport sector's introduction into the scheme.

"Every tax dollar spent by the Government to appease big business polluters by giving them free credits to pollute is money taken away from spending on public transport, hospitals and schools," said Keey.

"Yesterday's announcement shook our confidence in the Government's commitment to tackling climate change.

"It is scandalous that the people who'll suffer the most from this extraordinary backdown are ordinary New Zealanders, because they'll the ones who'll have to pay for a weak ETS via taxes to cover a skyrocketing Kyoto bill.

"The ETS needs adjustment to make it fairer. All those worrying about the unfair burden placed on householders should back Greenpeace's call for greater auctioning of pollution credits. As the scheme currently stands, the Government is giving away too many free credits to big business and the farming sector."

Mr Keey said if credits were auctioned instead, the money made- as well as windfall profits from SOEs - could enable the Government to invest in households, where the support is really needed.

This point was raised in March in a Greenpeace report into the ETS released in March (2) and presented to the Committee today. The report also warned that, in its current form, the scheme would be unlikely to actually achieve emission reductions.

For it to actually make any credible impact on climate change, credits would need to be auctioned, agriculture would need to be brought in earlier and an overall emissions reduction target would need to be set (3).

"Greenpeace's ETS report showed the delayed entry is another subsidy to the agriculture sector worth an estimated $1.2 billion; the cost of which will instead fall on householders.

"It's time New Zealand got on with earning the title of a leader when it comes to climate change. For the government to cave in to business pressure now would be not only an insult to New Zealanders willingness to tackle this crisis, but also an embarrassment on the international stage."


*****

(1) For full submission, go to: http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/press/releases/submission-on-ets/submission-on-climate-change

(2) New Zealand's Expanding Carbon Footprint - Analysis of New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme; major flaws and barriers to emission cuts www.greenpeace.org.nz/ets-report.

(3) Emission reduction targets in themselves don't stop climate change. They do however set the scene for what needs to be achieved, and give a clear signal to policy makers that they should formulate policies capable of achieving the target set.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified a range of 25-40% reductions by 2020 for developed countries like New Zealand as necessary in order to put the world on track to avoid climate catastrophe. Greenpeace is calling for the New Zealand Government and all political parties to set an emissions reduction target of 30 per cent by 2020. Countries that are serious about taking a leadership position on climate change have set national targets. The UK has set a target of 20% by 2010 – this is above and beyond its Kyoto commitment.

It is expected to achieve a reduction of almost 17% as a result. Germany has a domestic target of 40% reductions from 1990 levels by 2020, which it's on track to meet.

Even Australia, a forme r laggard when it comes to climate, now has a long term overall emission reduction target. Sweden recently agreed on an emission reduction range of 75-90% by 2050. The National Party has set a policy of 50 per cent emission reductions by 2050. This is not nearly enough. By 2050 we need to have reduced our emissions by a minimum of 80 per cent.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election