Auckland 5 November 2007 -
More of the same from business lobby
Greenpeace New Zealand has slammed a report, commissioned by business lobbyists, which calls for the proposed emissions trading scheme to be weakened.
"The report – "NZ ETS - how do we make it work" was commissioned by the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, which represents some of the country's biggest polluters," said Greenpeace climate campaigner Jim Footner (1).
"The Coalition has consistently tried to stall progress on solving climate change, first rejecting a carbon tax as a solution and now saying the emissions trading scheme that they called for as an alternative needs to be delayed and weakened. They have performed serious flip flops, all in the name of doing nothing about this global crisis. "
Mr Footner suggested going back to the science. "Thousands of top climate scientists from around the world have concluded that we have 10 years to act to avoid catastrophic climate change. The time for more delay has well passed.
"The fact the report concludes that "environmental sustainability depends on economic sustainability" demonstrates the extent of these people's shortsightedness. They fail to see that a healthy economy is equally reliant on a stable climate and healthy environment.
"The report calls for a realistic timeframe for a trading scheme to be put in place. Yet the Government's climate package had been a long time coming, and businesses had been given ample notice that a price would be put on greenhouse gas emissions.
"Climate change is occurring and will affect us. It's up to us where we want to place ourselves in the global movement to solve the problem. We risk being left behind and losing international credibility, negotiating power, trading partners and political allies if we don't follow through on our rhetoric to tackle climate change.
"The report talks about safeguarding what New Zealand exports and produces – the best way to do that is to protect and secure our clean green image. In order for this to happen, the emissions trading scheme must be strengthened not weakened."
(1) The Greenhouse Policy Coalition is made up of: • New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd • New Zealand Steel Limited • Fonterra • Coal Association • Carter Holt Harvey • Norske Skog Tasman • Winstone Pulp International • Pan Pacific Forest Products Ltd • SCA Hygiene • Business New Zealand • Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd • Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd