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Report Back Of Emissions Trading Bill

NEWS RELEASE

15 June 2008

Report Back Of Emissions Trading Bill

The Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill is due to be reported back to Parliament on 16 June and the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, representing large industrials across a range of sectors, says they hope the Select Committee has listened to submitters concerns about the Bill.

Catherine Beard, executive director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, says "sitting through the Select Committee hearings it was clear that every sector that contributes to New Zealand's wealth, whether it be dairying, aluminium, steel, cement, pulp and paper, agriculture, fishing, tourism or horticulture, has grave concerns about the impact of the Bill on their profitability."

"With the price of CER's (the units most NZ companies with obligations will have to buy) now at NZ$40/tonne of carbon dioxide, they have much to be concerned about."

Catherine Beard says some of the common themes from submitters on what needs to be changed in the Bill were that instead of an absolute cap on emissions we need to move to a scheme which allows for emissions to be measured on an intensity basis (emissions per unit of output) against some sort of benchmark - like 'worlds best practice'.

Another key issue was removing the automatic phase out of free allocation to trade exposed companies - regardless of what our trading competitors are doing.

Catherine Beard says with the price of carbon reaching new heights every week (CER's are currently at NZ$40/tonne) - and moving upwards in conjunction with the EU trading scheme, companies will be worried about the cost impact on their business in the absence of a price safety valve.

"New Zealand seems alone in the world in its determination to put a price on every tonne of emissions at a high price. Unless we get some significant changes to the emissions trading Bill, the damage to the New Zealand economy will be reduced wages, lost jobs and no environmental gain - why would we do this?"

ENDS

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