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Use cost to help decide on ETS

Media release
21 August 2008

Use cost to help decide on ETS

Business NZ has responded to the Greens’ request for the public to help them decide whether to support Labour’s proposed emissions trading scheme.

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says a key factor is what it will cost.

“When the Government first unveiled its scheme, it was based on carbon being priced at $15 a tonne – they said this would increase petrol prices by 4 cents a litre.

“But since then the price of carbon has hit $50* a tonne and is still rising. If the Government’s proposed scheme were in place now, petrol would have increased by 13 cents a litre and electricity would have increased by about 20%.

“The proposed scheme does not have safeguards such as planned for the Australian scheme. NZ businesses and NZ consumers both stand to face significantly higher fuel costs than their Australian counterparts, and NZ businesses will not have the protections planned for Australia.”

Mr O’Reilly said there would not be much environmental gain for all the economic pain.

“Our message to the Green Party is that we need an emissions trading scheme – but not this one.

“The Emissions Trading Bill needs a lot of rework, and the public needs to be able to have a say on it –another round of consultation is greatly needed. It also needs to be better aligned with Australia’s proposed scheme.”

*Current price in EU emissions trading scheme


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