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Business Leaders Welcome Emmissions Bill

4 December 2007

Significant cross party support should be expected in Parliament for the bill paving the way for emissions trading and is welcomed by business leaders.

The Business Council for Sustainable Development, whose 61 member companies' annual sales of $44 billion equate to 34% of gross domestic product, says the policy to put a price on carbon will be with us for at least the next 60 years, so support extending beyond the one Parliament is crucial.

"We expect, if MPs mirror their party voters' sentiments on emissions trading and the direction of climate change policy overall that there should be significant cross-party support for the bill when it has its first reading in the House," Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson says.

The Business Council has advocated for the introduction of a system to put a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and for emissions trading for several years. It is going to be important that the Government engages with business to preserve our options for the future.

"We are going to see a gradual introduction of carbon pricing, with taxpayer support for some sectors going until 2025. There are a lot of details to be decided during the next few years.

"It's good to see some advice from business and the community has been incorporated in the bill and other decisions since the ETS framework proposal was announced on September 20.

"It's also good there is a commitment to a lot more consultation to come.

"Getting good information for some of the key decisions to be made over the next few years is very important. A study on the real New Zealand (abatement) costs of cutting emissions is needed to make sure our trade-exposed sectors remain competitive internationally over time. We need to manage the level of competitive risk to make sure we keep industries here where it is consistent with our long interests," Mr Neilson says.

"User pays for the environment is now an idea whose time has come. We need an effective emissions trading system to secure our clean green reputation which underpins our trade and tourism success."

Ends

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