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Facts Before Falsehoods

Facts Before Falsehoods

Friday 19 October, 2012
Press release – Generation Zero

ACT Party leader John Banks is spreading falsehoods in his attempts to undermine the Emissions Trading Scheme and New Zealand’s climate change response, Generation Zero policy coordinator Paul Young said today.

In a press release issued yesterday, Mr Banks said “I wrote to the Minister for Climate Change Issues asking him not to place undue restrictions on foreign carbon credits so that New Zealanders would not be forced to pay more for carbon credits than foreigners do.”

Mr Young said the notion that placing a quantitative limit on foreign carbon credits – as called for by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, forestry groups and environmental groups – will have New Zealanders “paying more than foreigners” is rubbish.

“Every other country with an emissions trading scheme now requires 50-90% of credits used to be domestically sourced, to ensure some level of domestic action to reduce emissions,” said Mr Young.

“If Mr Banks gets his way, New Zealand will have the only ETS in the world without such limits and will continue to be the dumping ground for cheap units that cannot be used anywhere else, keeping prices so low they will do nothing to reduce emissions or stimulate forest plantings.

“On top of this, the ETS Amendment Bill currently going through Parliament will prolong the '2-for-1' deal indefinitely, halving the price again.

As at 18 October 2012, prices for domestic carbon credits or carbon taxes per tonne in a selection of places are: Australia, $29.10; EU, $13.15; California, $17.63; UK (price floor in power sector), $30.84; Denmark, $21.39; Norway, $43.32 (to double on 1 January 2013).

The current effective price of New Zealand Units (NZUs), accounting for the ‘2-for-1’ deal, is $1.53.

“Mr Banks’ statement to the Minister is plain false, and to continue repeating it he is either ignorant or deliberately telling lies,” said Mr Young.

“If Mr Banks will not correct his statement then he has no credibility on the subject and should be ignored.

“If the ETS is to be a credible tool as part of New Zealand’s climate response then we need to follow in the steps of every other country with similar schemes and put a cap on international units.



Generation Zero is an independent youth organisation seeking to catalyse action on climate change and work towards creating a zero carbon Aotearoa. For more information see:


Previous Generation Zero press releases on the ETS amendments:

We are Generation Zero


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