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A Climate Response That Doesn’t Cost The Earth

ACT will:

  • Repeal the Zero Carbon Act, including the Climate Change Commission, and instead tie New Zealand’s emissions cap to our trading partners’ emissions so New Zealand businesses can be competitive overseas
  • Scrap unrealistic targets set by Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw to reduce net emissions by 50 per cent below gross 2005 levels by 2030
  • Return Emissions Trading Scheme revenues to New Zealanders through a carbon tax refund
  • Repeal virtue signalling laws and spending that have no effect on climate change because the ETS caps emissions - like the oil and gas ban, 100 per cent renewable electricity generation, the Clean Car Discount, and any spending on mitigation in areas that are covered by the ETS
  • Allow overseas mitigation
  • Adopt a split gas emissions reporting approach which accurately reflects the actual warming effect of methane emissions
  • Ensure farmers are able to offset all on-farm sequestration from their emissions liability
  • Remove barriers stalling the uptake of emissions reducing technologies
  • Support efforts to adapt to the effects of climate change

“ACT’s climate change policy is the best any political party has put forward because it is simple, effective, and is not going to make life more costly for New Zealanders. For those reasons, it will also be the most durable,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Politicians across the political spectrum have set New Zealand on a bureaucratic, costly and irrational climate change response. National, NZ First, Labour, and the Greens all voted for the Zero Carbon Act. Parties on the left and right have plans to tax farmers when no country in the world has put a price on biogenic methane. All political parties except ACT are asking New Zealanders to go further and faster in cutting emissions than our trading partners.

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“The result is that families will pay more for food, energy and transport and have less money to deal with the cost of living crisis, and businesses will be put at a disadvantage on the world stage.

“Other parties need to realise climate change policy isn’t about nice headlines. It’s about having a plan that’s simple, effective, and durable.

“Rather than just putting a cap on emissions through the ETS, politicians are wasting billions of dollars and making bureaucratic laws requiring emissions cuts in areas already covered by the ETS because it makes for good headlines.

“Instead of putting a price on emissions and letting New Zealanders make their own decisions, politicians are trying to centrally plan the economy, micromanaging which technologies can be used by whom

“Rather than adapting to the effects of climate change by investing in more resilient infrastructure, politicians are wasting money on mitigation projects that cost more than the ETS price.

“ACT says New Zealand can play a part in reducing emissions, but in a way that doesn’t add to the cost of living crisis facing New Zealanders.

“We will stop wasteful climate change spending and cut unnecessary climate change red tape as part of our wider plan to fix the economy and bring the cost of living down. We have a climate change plan that doesn’t cost the earth.

“ACT will get rid of costly bureaucracy like the Zero Carbon Act and the Climate Change Commission. We will instead tie New Zealand’s emission cap to our trading partners’ emissions, allowing people to make their own choices considering the carbon price that creates, and ensuring political durability by giving all New Zealanders a stake in the ETS as recipients of a carbon tax credit.

“We will scrap unrealistic targets set by Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw to reduce net emissions by 50 per cent below gross 2005 levels by 2030.

“ACT will repeal virtue signalling laws and spending like the oil and gas ban, 100 per cent renewable electricity generation, the Clean Car Discount, and any spending on mitigation in areas that are covered by the ETS. They have no effect on climate change because the ETS already caps emissions.

“Instead of punishing farmers, ACT will allow them access to emissions reduction technologies that are sitting on the desks of Wellington bureaucrats. We’ll recognise sequestration occurring on farm. And we’ll adopt a split gas emissions reporting approach which accurately reflects the actual warming effect of methane emissions.

“Instead of wasting billions on mitigation in areas already covered by the ETS, ACT will focus on building resilient infrastructure that can cope with climate change. Roads, bridges, ports, and stormwater infrastructure require billions of dollars over the next decade to future proof towns, cities and regions. ACT will share GST with councils so they can build infrastructure that can stand up to extreme weather events.

“We will repeal the bizarre ban on offshore mitigation.

“New Zealand needs to play its part to reduce emissions, but not at the expense of our economic wellbeing. Otherwise, it won’t just be a brain drain that New Zealand experiences. There will be an outflow of capital and employment to countries which have no intention of cutting off their industries to achieve climate targets.

“In the long term, ACT’s plan will prevail as the most durable climate change policy because it is simple, effective, and doesn’t make life harder for anyone. ACT has the best climate change policy of any political party.”

Policy document is found here.

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