21 October 2007 - Five of the country's leading environmental organisations have joined forces to respond to recent business criticisms of the Government's emissions trading scheme.
Greenpeace, Environmental Defence Society, Ecologic Foundation, WWF New Zealand and ECO have sent a joint letter to the government, urging it not to buckle to pressure from business interests to delay and weaken the scheme.
The groups are also seeking to strengthen the proposal so it guarantees real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
EDS Chair Gary Taylor:"New Zealand is fortunate that forward thinking business interests and politicians across the spectrum have embraced the scheme. But it's disappointing that some are persisting in the same delay and deferral tactics they've been using for the past 15 years.
"The time for more delay has well passed. The key issue is building a high quality scheme that delivers significant emission reductions to combat the real threat to our environment and economy posed by climate change. In order for this to happen, we need to exclude so-called "hot air" units (1) from the scheme and strengthen measures to reduce actual emissions within New Zealand."
Ecologic executive director Guy Salmon said business groups had a legitimate interest in ensuring the emissions trading scheme was workable, and consultation on this would continue next year when the legislation was at Select Committee stage.
"I would be concerned however if business and farming groups were allowed to further delay the introduction of a price on carbon emissions, or to extend their free allocations of emission rights even further into the future."
* This coalition of interests covers a broad spectrum of green views and the joint position emphasises the seriousness with which these groups view attempts to weaken and delay action.
Please find copy of letter attached.