News Releases

ETS should be reviewed soon due to overseas uncertainty

1 July 2010

The Greenhouse Policy Coalition would support the Government proceeding with an early review of the Emissions Trading Scheme in light of international uncertainty around climate change policy.

Industrial companies, including the food processing, oil and petroleum, and coal sectors enter the ETS today, joining the forestry sector.

“From today, New Zealand companies competing in overseas markets where there is no price on carbon or competing internally against goods from those countries will be at a clear disadvantage. What’s more, the prospects of our major trading partners having carbon prices any time soon remains up in the air,” says the Coalition’s Executive-Director, David Venables.

“The US is struggling to pass a climate bill and the scope of the current bill before the Senate is diminishing, Japan’s ETS plans are stalled, and China is not going down the ETS road. Australia has put its planned scheme on hold and it’s unclear with the change of Prime Minister whether it will go down the ETS or carbon tax route and just when that will be. There is also a reducing chance of a new international agreement before 2012. All this leaves New Zealand in an unenviable state of uncertainty.

“The NZ ETS legally has to be reviewed by the end of 2011, but that is too far away for businesses that need to know what to plan for after 2012. This uncertainty could be reduced by an early and comprehensive review of the ETS. We encourage the Government to signal when the review will proceed and what it will cover.

“For example, trade-exposed businesses need to know whether the Government intends to consider extending the current transitional assistance for companies beyond 2012 and what it plans to do for other businesses currently excluded from allocation, for example the production of food products for export where meat and dairy products now have to compete on the world market with these added costs that are not incurred by their competitors. We ask the Government to commit to supporting New Zealand firms until other countries implement comprehensive emissions trading.

“New Zealanders are doing more than their fair share by being part of a comprehensive, all sectors, all gases ETS. The Government needs to review our position as soon as possible to keep New Zealand competitive.”

For further information, contact:

David Venables, Executive Director, 04 473 0600 or 027 848 2368


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