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Leadership Not Delay Is What NZ Needs On ETS Bill

May 18, 2008

Media Release

Leadership Not Delay Is What New Zealand Needs On The ETS Bill.

Delaying the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) until after the election would only slow action to reduce emissions which in turn will increase the cost of adjustment for New Zealand

It is extremely unfortunate that the cross party support for the ETS legislation that was evident when the proposals were announced last September has unravelled by May of this year.

Nick Main, the chair of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development says

"The country commited to capping emissions when it signed the Kyoto protocol. The ETS is just the mechanism to gradually move the costs from the taxpayer to the emitters who are in the best position to reduce their emissions."

Mr Main was responding to the call for delaying passage of the ETS legislation until after the election made today by National, Party leader John Key.

"We must not forget the ultimate goal of the ETS legislation is to reduce the impact of emissions on the climate as well as reduce our Kyoto costs. The proposed ETS puts a price on carbon that encourages emitters to reduce their emissions. Delaying passing our ETS legislation puts us out of step with worldwide trends. Australia, US and Japan all have emissions trading systems in development and the European Union ETS has been operating for many years. Delaying passing the bill won't stop Tesco's putting emission content labels on the products in it's supermarkets. Delay will also put a cloud over new investment in forestry, a sector with significant potential to reduce our net emissions."

"Supporters of all political parties along with business decision makers agree that an emissions trading scheme should be introduced in New Zealand. Earlier statements by politicians had indicated a willingness to take a leadership role. The ETS is the only mechanism proposed to help address our increasing greenhouse gas emissions and meet our international obligations. While it is important that the system is well designed and effectively implemented we have a significant reputational risk if the Bill is further delayed"


ENDS

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