14 September 2009
The executive director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, representing the energy intensive sector on climate change issues, says the proposed changes the government has announced for the emissions trading scheme are a welcome move in the right direction.
“While we will still need to work though the detail to establish the impacts on trade exposed industry, we welcome the effort being made to keep New Zealand employers competitive in the period before other countries are imposing the same costs on carbon.”
Catherine Beard said the proposals to make the scheme more affordable for households and industry is sensible in the current tough economic environment, where it would be a risk to jobs to push ahead with a high cost scheme.
“We welcome the new proposal to halve the obligation in the first commitment period and introduce a price cap on carbon, and we welcome the slower phase-out of assistance. We think this better reflects the way other countries with emissions trading schemes are operating, since no country has any desire to force its industry to relocate to countries that don’t price carbon.”
“A slower phase out of assistance to 2050 sends a better signal to industry looking to make new lower carbon investments in New Zealand, which will be good for the economy and good for the global environment.”
“We need to remember that in New Zealand our large industry is already close to World’s Best Practice in energy intensity and we have one of the highest percentages of renewable electricity of any country in the world, so any policy that encourages industry to stay and invest in New Zealand is good for the global environment and for the economy.”
Catherine Beard said the Greenhouse Policy Coalition looked forward to working with government to ensure that the Australian method of allocation would suit New Zealand companies and that any allocation was adequate to cover off trade exposure and increased electricity costs.
“The aim of the policy should be to keep efficient New Zealand industry and jobs in New Zealand, and we will be working through the detail to ensure that will be the outcome.”
For Further information contact;
Catherine Beard, Executive Director, Greenhouse Policy Coalition, Mob 0274 633 212, or 04 389 0544