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Analysis of climate change policy welcomed

Media release
October 24, 2007

Analysis of climate change policy welcomed

Business NZ today congratulated the New Zealand Institute for its considered analysis of the climate change issues facing New Zealand.

Chief executive Phil O’Reilly says the think-tank’s report echoes Business NZ’s concern about the haste with which the government is moving to set up a regulated scheme for emissions trading.

The institute recommends that New Zealand be a “fast follower” rather than a leader in emissions reduction and delays meeting its reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol to 2020, instead of 2012.

Business NZ has recommended this date be 2013. But although it doesn’t necessarily agree with all that is suggested in the report, Mr O’Reilly says the institute should be congratulated for its in depth research which offers a valuable contribution to the climate change debate.

“The thing we most agree with is the need to sit back and take a balanced approach to climate change to ensure New Zealand’s economic competitiveness is not harmed.

“Most New Zealand businesses will be supportive of this more careful approach to emissions reduction and so will most communities.

“We hope the government will take note of this significant research and adopt a more rational and timely approach than that which is being pursued currently.”

Although supportive of emissions trading, Business NZ has been concerned about the lack of detail and potential economic consequences of the emerging scheme.

“It must be done properly to get robust outcomes or businesses stand to lose significant value, as shown by recent difficulties with European trading systems,” says Mr O’Reilly.

“The speed with which they are taking us towards a low carbon economy has the potential to be a very risky economic experiment.”

ENDS

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