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“ETS needs to phone home”, Select Committee told

“ETS needs to phone home”, Select Committee toldPress release – Generation Zero
Wednesday 19 September 2012

Youth organisation Generation Zero yesterday told members of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee that proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme are out of line with the legislation’s stated purpose and should be abandoned.

The Select Committee is hearing submissions on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, which will prolong the “transition phase” of the ETS, essentially freezing it at current weak settings rather than beginning to ramp it up.

In its 11-page submission, Generation Zero argued that the changes would further weaken the ability of the ETS to meet all three of its original objectives – delivering New Zealand’s ‘fair share’ of emissions reductions and meeting international obligations, delivering this in the most cost effective manner, and maximising long-term resilience of the New Zealand economy at least cost.

Instead, the amendment bill’s primary objective is to “ensure that the ETS more effectively supports the Government’s economic growth priorities”.

Generation Zero’s submission said “this suggests [...] the Government has given up any pretence of treating climate change as a serious threat in need of addressing.”

At the hearing, policy coordinator Paul Young told the Select Committee the changes would lump more costs and risks onto today’s young people to deal with in the future.

Mr Young also highlighted the poor justification for delay when many other countries are stepping up action, citing the fact that Australia now has a carbon price more than ten times that currently paid in New Zealand.

Generation Zero supported the call from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to introduce limits on the use of cheap international offset credits currently flooding the market, and also argued for introduction of a carbon price floor and for greater emphasis on complementary measures to the ETS.

“If we’re to stick with the ETS as New Zealand’s “primary tool” for combating climate change then we think it really needs a fundamental overhaul, but there are a number of immediate steps the Government could take to make the scheme more effective and fairer,” said Mr Young.

“At a time when the impacts of climate change are being ever more keenly seen and felt around the world, we need to get back to the main reason for having an ETS in the first place – reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“The ETS needs to phone home.”

Generation Zero’s full submission can be downloaded from its website: http://generationzero.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Gen-Zero-Submission-on-ETS-Amendment-Bill-2012-Complete.pdf


Generation Zero is an independent youth organisation seeking to catalyse action on climate change in New Zealand. For more information see:

We are Generation Zero


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