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Review of climate change law applauded

Media statement Monday, 17th November, 2008

Review of climate change law applauded

Business welcomes the National government's rapid move to reviewing the emissions trading scheme as they promised, the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

Acting chief executive Bruce Goldsworthy said: "Whichever party became government would have had to change the law on emissions trading because the scheme in its present form wouldn't work.

"It was rushed through Parliament with inadequate consideration.

"EMA has previously supported aiming for a 50 per cent reduction from New Zealand's 1990 greenhouse gas emissions level by 2050 compared to the previous government's goal of achieving carbon neutrality.

"While we support the establishment of an emissions trading regime, it should be fiscally neutral, not even used for revenue gathering from state owned enterprises; any surpluses from trading carbon credits through the Emission Unit Registry should be returned to the taxpayer.

"We don't support scheme's introduction or excessive emissions charges until more of the world's big economies do a fair bit more than just mumble their good intentions about reducing or mitigating their greenhouse gas emissions.

"We need to align our scheme with the Australian Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme to be introduced in January 2010 thereby facilitating common compliance regimes and tradability in our trans Tasman market.

"It's sensible to encourage the development and uptake of technology that will improve carbon use efficiency and reduce emissions intensity, rather than just trying to cut total carbon output per se.

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"We also we support a delay in introducing mandatory compliance with the emissions targets set for the various industry sectors.

"The removal of the 10-year restriction on thermal electricity generation is applauded, as is the amendment of the distinction between new power stations being either base load or peak load.

"The review will hopefully remove discrimination against small and medium-sized businesses by lowering or removing the high 50,000-tonne emissions threshold which qualifies big emitters for a free allocation of carbon credits. That would at least put SME's on a par with the big emitters."


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