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Consideration of emissions trading timeline set

Hon David Parker
Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues

8 May 2008

Govt sets timeline for consideration of emissions trading

The government will make important decisions on New Zealand's move towards a greenhouse gas emissions trading regime in the next three months, Climate Change Minister David Parker said today.

"Climate change policy is about reducing emissions. An emissions trading scheme could provide New Zealand businesses with a flexible way of reducing their carbon footprint, and help put New Zealand on the path to a sustainable future," David Parker said.

A "cap-and-trade" emissions trading scheme is a market-based means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Participants in the system are allocated, or purchase, a share of the capped emissions permits, which they can trade with others. Those who can reduce emissions for less than the market price of emissions, cut their emissions.

"New Zealand's emissions mainly come from the gas and coal we use in electricity generation, the petrol and diesel we burn in our vehicles, methane and nitrous oxide from ruminant animals and fertiliser, methane from waste, and the carbon dioxide released from forests that are cut down and not replanted."

"We have already said we are looking for a design that will be economy-wide, and include all sectors, and all gases," David Parker said.

"Many details have to be considered, before a final decision can be taken. These include when different sectors come in, the transitional path for emissions, and the stringency of the targets once they are in. The government will consider these issues in detail in the coming months.

"It is important that New Zealand has durable climate change policy, which minimises the long-term costs of reducing emissions while maximising opportunities.

"We have already been engaging with willing political parties on climate change policy over the past months, and we look forward to working with them further on design details, as we move forward."

ENDS

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