Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

National does deal with Maori Party on ETS

National does deal with Maori Party for watered-down ETS

By Pattrick Smellie

Sept 14 (BusinessWire) - The Government has secured the bare parliamentary majority it needs to pass an amended Emissions Trading Scheme by doing a deal with the Maori Party that promises special treatment for iwi (tribes) that gained forests in Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

While National says it will seek Labour Party support for the Bill, to be introduced to Parliament next week, Labour leader Phil Goff accused the Government of bad faith in its negotiations and of lumping the full costs of carbon reduction on taxpayer rather than polluter industries.

Details of the deal with the Maori Party are still being negotiated and may only emerge in detail as the amended ETS legislation works its way through the select committee process. The new Bill has yet to be drafted.

The deal confirms an intensity-based approach to the free allocation of carbon credits to major emitting industries without, at this stage, any cap on total allowable emissions before an industry is exposed to carbon prices. This remains the critical difference between National and Labour on how the ETS should operate.

Labour argues that energy-intensive industries need to face carbon prices at some stage to force investment in lower carbon technologies and that taxpayers will pick up the tab for their extra emissions.

Environment Minister Nick Smith counters that a capped approach could encourage major emitters to continue using old, inefficient technology rather than investing in new plant, since higher production with new equipment could expose them to increased carbon liability.

However, Smith indicated that the issue of a cap on intensity-based free allocation could yet be revived at the review of the ETS scheduled for 2011.

The ETS amendments hammered out with the Maori Party have the following key elements:

• For the first three years of its operation to January 1, 2013, the new scheme will only impose a carbon cost on half the emissions originally intended to be covered in the industrial processes, energy, and liquid fuels sectors. This will limit the impact on households of electricity and petrol price rises caused by pricing carbon to around a 5% rise in electricity prices and a 3.5 cents per litre increase in petrol prices;
• A transitional $25 top price for carbon will be imposed until January 1, 2013 to limit the impact of possible global carbon price volatility on industries needing cost certainty;
• Agriculture will formally enter the scheme in 2015, two years later than planned, coinciding with Australia's timetable;
• Forest owners will be able to trade their carbon credits internationally, removing one of the biggest barriers to increased forestry planting, which is essential to limiting the cost of New Zealand's carbon liabilities into the future;
• The stationary energy and industrial processes sectors - covering big emitters like electricity generators, steel, aluminium, cement, and milk processing - will now enter the scheme six months later than planned, on 1 July next year, to give time for implementation of the ETS following delays this year;
• Liquid fuels - mainly petrol and diesel - will come into the scheme at the same time as stationary energy, six months' earlier than planned;
• Assistance with transition will reduce at a rate of 1.3% a year, consistent with National's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2050;
• The fishing industry will receive 90% rather than 50% transitional support through to 2013.

The Government's aim is to have the Bill passed into law in time for the global climate change summit in Copenhagen in December.

Prime Minister John Key said the decisions balanced the need for New Zealand to do its part in world efforts to combat climate change while taking a "more modest" approach than Labour's scheme.

Settlements reached recently with central North Island iwi, and an earlier settlement with the South Island iwi, Ngai Tahu, carried no recognition of the impact on forest owners of an ETS if they choose to fell forests and use the land for another purpose.

The Maori Party put a similar deal to Labour before the last election, which declined because it feared not only creating a special class of Treaty settlement forestry assets with special property rights, but also that it would set a precedent for future renegotiation of Treaty settlements following major government policy changes which affect the value of settlement assets.

(BusinessWire)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>

ALSO:


Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: