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Emissions Trading Hasn't Got Strong Public Support


11 July 2008

Emissions Trading Has Not Got Strong Public Support Yet

Catherine Beard, executive director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, representing the energy intensive sector on climate change issues, says the release of two different pieces of market research on emissions trading in recent days, shows pretty conclusively that the majority of the public will be unimpressed by an emissions trading scheme if it results in higher costs of living and puts jobs at risk.

"Looking at the Exceltium/DigiPoll research on the proposed emissions trading scheme and the TNS Conversa research, carried out for economic consultancy NZIER, it is clear that many New Zealanders can not afford to shoulder very much in the way of increases in the cost of living."

Catherine Beard says there is plenty of analysis that has shown the proposed emissions trading scheme is a Rolls Royce affair compared to any other schemes being proposed internationally, which will make it much higher cost.

"Every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand will carry a cost, whereas in other countries, emissions trading schemes are much narrower in their coverage, more generous in their free allocation of units (EU) have soft caps (modest targets) or are voluntary (US). Those that opt in to voluntary markets tend to have plenty of low cost abatement opportunities resulting in low carbon prices."

"The emissions trading Bill as currently drafted will create a lot of unnecessary cost and uncertainty unless the time is taken to get this legislation right before it becomes law."

Catherine Beard says political parties should listen to the 14 industry associations (representing all the productive sectors of the economy) that wrote to them requesting a new round of submissions on the emissions trading Bill.

"Many submitters to the Bill had good ideas about changes that could be made in order to reduce the cost of the emissions trading scheme. None of the substantive recommendations were included in Bill reported back from the Select Committee and the result will be a high cost emissions trading scheme if the Bill goes ahead as it is currently drafted.


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