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Public deeply split on pricing carbon

Public deeply split on pricing carbon

Changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme have gone into Parliament as a new poll shows that New Zealanders are evenly split over whether we should even have a price on carbon, Carbon News reports this morning.

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser introduced his Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to the House yesterday.

The bill indefinitely delays the entry of agriculture into the scheme and preserves current subsidies for emitters, including the two-for-one liability and the $25 cap on carbon prices, and sparked a fierce debate in Parliament.

Views ranging from the Greens and Labour (who say that the ETS is inadequate for dealing with climate change) through New Zealand First (which thinks it should be replaced with a carbon tax) to Act’s John Banks, who seemed to be arguing that carbon pricing is ridiculous because there is no such thing as anthropogenic climate change.

But politicians are not the only ones who can’t agree over carbon pricing.

A HorizonPoll for Carbon News, specialising in providing information for the emissions markets, shows that public opinion is evenly split over the issue.

The poll, of 2829 people aged 28-plus, was taken between July 5 and 16.

Results show that 28.2 per cent of respondents support carbon pricing, 28.7 per cent oppose it, 31.7 per cent are neutral on the issue, and 11.4 per cent don’t know.

Among business managers and executives 41.5 per cent oppose, 29.8 per cent support, 26.1 per cent are neutral and 2.5 per cent are not sure.

Farmers, whose lobby group Federated Farmers has been one of the most vocal opponents of the ETS, are surprisingly neutral on the issue. While just 2 per cent said they support carbon pricing and 42.3 per cent said they opposed it, 55.3 per cent described themselves as neutral.

The poll also analysed responses by party vote in the 2011 general election. Results show:

National: 20.7 per cent support carbon pricing, 37.4 per cent oppose and 33.7 per cent are neutral.
Labour: 37.8 per cent support, 17.8 per cent oppose and 30.6 per cent are neutral.

Green: 54 per cent support, 16.2 per cent oppose and 22.1 per cent are neutral,
And while 56.8 per cent of Act Party voters said they oppose carbon pricing, Banks might be surprised to learn that 40.7 per cent of respondents who supported the party in the last election also support carbon pricing.
ends

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