Revised ETS an insult to New Zealanders

Press release - September 14, 2009
New Zealand’s revised emissions trading scheme is an insult to New Zealand’s environmental reputation and sends a clear international message that we’re not serious about tackling climate change, says Greenpeace.

"We now have on the table a pathetic ETS which won't actually do anything to reduce emissions," said Greenpeace Political Adviser Geoff Keey. "Under the scheme as proposed, our emissions will just keep climbing and taxpayers, rather than polluters, will have to pay for them. This is dangerous both in terms of equity and in terms of what climate science is telling us."

Keey said the most objectionable changes included, but were not limited to:

-    The intensity based approach being taken, which will allow our emissions to keep rising. "This appears to be capitulation to Fonterra," said Keey.

-    The price cap on carbon built into the scheme and the slow phase-out of free carbon credits - "massive corporate welfare that taxpayers will pay for."

-    The fact that the scheme's been based on National's 50% by 2050 emissions reduction target. "This target is completely inadequate and out of date. Other developed countries have pledged to do at least 80% by 2050," said Keey.

"What was clear from attending the negotiations was that New Zealand wants to meet its climate target by plundering cheap credits from poor countries and then when those are all gone, tell poor countries it's their turn to do the work."

"This Bill will do almost nothing in terms of actually reducing New Zealand's emissions, which, lest the National Party forgets, is the imperative with climate change, not window dressing."

Greenpeace is calling on the Government to adopt a 40% by 2020 emission reduction target and put in place the necessary policies to reach that target.

Other contacts: Geoff Keey – Greenpeace Political Adviser- 021504486 Kathy Cumming – Media and Communications – 021 495 216

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