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Greenpeace Criticism Is Unfounded

Greenpeace Criticism Is Unfounded

Further to the release of a report on the emissions trading scheme by the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, Greenpeace accuses the Greenhouse Policy Coalition of being a coalition of “big polluters” that simply want to stall progress on solving climate change.

Executive Director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, Catherine Beard says Greenpeace is wrong on all counts.

“First, industry in New Zealand is a relatively small contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Our big emitting sectors are agriculture (nearly 50%) and transport (nearly 20%), which is also where the emissions growth has been.”

“Second, the large industrial employers in New Zealand have not been sitting around waiting for a price on carbon, but have been making impressive emission reductions since the 1990’s. There are companies in the pulp and paper sector that have their emissions back to 1990 levels and most other large industrials are already at (or close to) world’s best practice in energy efficiency” (see attached sheet on companies emission reductions).

“Third, the report that we released by economic consultancy Castalia does not say we should not pursue an emissions trading scheme. It says that the scheme being proposed is going to be the toughest in the world, which brings with it significant risks to the economy.”

Catherine Beard says the report by Castalia makes some specific recommendations on ways to reduce those economic risks – like providing for a price safety valve so that the price of carbon does not go so high that it forces large scale plant closures and results in job losses – keeping in mind that most of our economic trading region will not be putting a price on carbon in the near term.

Catherine Beard says Greenhouse Policy Coalition will be supportive of a climate change policy that balances environmental objectives with economic common sense. If New Zealand simply exports its industry and associated emissions to other countries that are less efficient than we are – then the environment is worse off and we have lost our major employers.


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