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NZ: heavy emitters influence climate policy most

New Zealanders think heavy emitter businesses are having most influence on climate change policy

Businesses with high greenhouse gas emissions are having the most influence on climate change policy, according to a new national survey.

Seventy per cent of New Zealanders think the heavy emitters have most influence, 17% more than the next nearest top influencer, environmental groups.

Green Party MPs rank third (37%), business organizations fourth (34%) – while those believed to have least influence are beneficiaries (3%) and the unemployed (2%).

Of the parties represented in Parliament, ACT MPs are seen as the least influential on climate change policy, and MPs from Labour (23%) and National (11%) the most effective, according to a ShapeNZ national online poll, undertaken between 11.30pm May 6 and 5.30pm May 11, 2008.

The 2374 respondents are weighted to represent the national population. The survey has a maximum margin of error of 2.2%.

The survey was launched a few hours after the Government announced it would extend its proposed policy of giving large emitters 90% of their 2005 emissions in free credits between 2008 and 2012, to 2017. The Government also extended the phase out of emissions credit support from 2025 to 2030, and deferred the entry of transport fuels into the emissions trading scheme from 2009 to 2011.

ShapeNZ is operated by The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development – whose 73 member companies' annual sales equate to 34% of gross domestic product in dollar terms. The Business Council favours putting a price on carbon through emissions trading, to encourage emitters to avoid the price and lower emissions.

The Business Council presents its submission on the emissions trading bill to Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee Monday evening (May 12).

The ShapeNZ influence survey rates the large emitter and energy user group, the Greenhouse Gas Policy Coalition, as the organisation with most influence on climate change policy (49%), followed by the Major Energy Users Group (42%), Business New Zealand (39%), Federated Farmers (35%) and Chambers of Commerce (25%).

Asked which coalition party government combinations would be best to manage climate change, a Labour-Green coalition is rated first (33%, unchanged since February this year) followed by a National-Green coalition (18%, down from 23% in February). Some 30% don't know (25% in February). 5% prefer some other coalition combination (down from 9% in February).

The ShapeNZ survey report is available at the Business Council web site at www.nzbcsd.org.nz


See... ShapeNZ_climate_change_influence_survey_report_May_11_May_2008.doc

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