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Cancun a wake up call for New Zealand’s ETS

MEDIA RELEASE

14 December 2010

Cancun a wake up call for New Zealand’s ETS

After 20 years of wrangling with the Kyoto Protocol, the outlook for a comprehensive world wide carbon emissions solution remains an enigma, as proven by the past weekend’s UN Climate Change Summit in Cancun.

“Its time for our politicians to accept that we are alone in instigating a comprehensive, all sectors, all gasses, emissions trading scheme (ETS),” says Don Nicolson Federated Farmers President.

“One of the few positive things to come out of Cancun is the necessity for spending on research, something Federated Farmers has consistently raised.

“Instead of spending big money to enrich forest owners in New Zealand, many of which are foreign controlled, the emerging international consensus is to fund research into clean energy, helping developing economies grow economically.

“Why do we spend $1.06 billion on an ETS tax that raises the cost of living for every New Zealander, funnels our capital offshore, and will make no appreciable difference to the world’s total emissions?

“Domestically, we haven’t even determined how we’ll ever measure the ETS as being a success or failure. We’re taking a multi-billion dollar gamble on a policy the rest of the world isn’t following.

“New Zealand’s global emissions are apparently only 0.2 percent on a world scale. As for followers, it's just us and the European Union. Even then, the EU scheme doesn’t count whole sectors, like agriculture.

“While its great to see kiwi, Adrian Macey being appointed chair of the Kyoto Protocol, you get the feeling this move is more like appointing a receiver before liquidation, given the first commitment period for Kyoto lapses in 2013.

“Certainly, there’s little global mood for agriculture being included in any successor treaty.

“Given Hon Nick Smith’s pledge to keep biological emissions out of the ETS if our trading partners don’t follow suit, then its time for the Government’s planned 2011 ETS review to put that pledge in writing.

“But with Cancun, could it be that after the dot.com bubble and the subprime bubble, that global leaders have preemptively moved to stop a carbon bubble from forming?

“Federated Farmers believes research leading to efficient resource use, such as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, is our best international contribution. It seems this is the emerging international consensus and not emissions trading,” Mr Nicolson concluded.

ENDS

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