Have your say on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

submissions are now closed

Add a comment
Page - August 31, 2012
Government has proposed changes to NZ’s Emissions Trading Scheme which will further undermine efforts to protect our environment. They’ve asked for public submissions but only allowed a very short time for public input - you have only until next Monday 10 September.

Friday, 31 August 2012 Sea Ice Extent 26 Aug 2012.

Line shows average of the minimum extent 1979-2010. Source: NASA Goddard

This is a clear signal the Government is actively limiting your say on very important changes that obviously favour the big polluters and sidelines environmental protection.

At a time when urgent action is needed on climate, the Government is instead proposing that it will let the biggest polluters off the hook. This sends a bad signal to the world that New Zealand is not serious about being part of the solution to climate change and is a threat to our democratic process.

Greenpeace is strongly opposed to this bill.

Submissions were open until Monday 10 September.

Here are some things you might want to include in your submission:

Tell the Government that you want to action to protect our environment and a plan for a cleaner, safer New Zealand.

Here are some points you may want to make.

  • Object to the extremely short time-frame.

  • This bill is a deliberate attempt by the Government to destroy the price of carbon and kill off our clean energy sector in favour of its 19th century dirty energy agenda.

  • The Government is re-writing environmental legislation to suit our biggest polluters at the cost of ordinary New Zealanders. This is irresponsible. The Government must send a clear message to industry that they must move to a cleaner, smarter way of doing business.

  • The Arctic sea ice has just hit its lowest extent ever recorded, according to the US-based National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), as a result of man-made climate change. This should be a warning that we need to make our pollution laws stronger, not weaker, to stop those companies that profit from damaging our environment.

  • By further weakening our environmental laws the Government is putting our global reputation at risk.

  • Government should bring in an action plan for the 21st century that phases out old dirty fuels that pollute our land, water and air and phase in new, clean and safe energy that can create thousands of jobs and strong economic growth for New Zealand.

Make a submission via the Parliament website

Note: It's a good idea to write your submission in a text editor first and copying it into the form on the Government website in case anything goes wrong.

- If you have trouble, here's the help page.

More detailed information.

Although a number of the proposed amendments give cause for concern, the main one’s that we’ve focused on, but are not exclusive to, the following amendments to:

  • maintain the 1-for-2 surrender obligation after 2012, without specifying an end date in legislation;
  • maintain the $25-a-unit fixed price option after 2012, without specifying an end date in legislation;
  • remove a specified entry date for surrender obligations on biological emissions from agriculture.

In effect, what this means is that the Bill will weaken an already lacklustre Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to the point of irrelevance.

The ETS has long been criticised for being too weak because of the fixed, low price on carbon and a high allocation of free credits to our biggest polluters. And these proposals will allow this status quo to continue.

It sends a signal that its business as usual as there's no incentive for our biggest polluters to clean up their act and change their behaviour. The taxpayer is left subsidising this free allocation of permits to the tune of nearly a billion dollars a year.

By further delaying the inclusion of agricultural emissions indefinitely, it's clear that the Government has no intention of including this sector in the scheme, which was designed to include all gases from all sectors. The ETS simply cannot function without the inclusion of our largest emitters.

The purpose of emissions trading is to place a cost on emissions significant enough for them to reduce pollution and start investing in a cleaner, safer way of doing business. However, these proposed amendments to defer the increase in cost of polluting and surrendering the 2 permits for the “two for the price of one” obligation, will only result in more pollution, not less.

Put simply, these amendments will further undermine the very premise upon which the Emissions Trading Scheme was set up and weaken the only major tool that the Government has in place to reduce our impact on our climate.

We are also concerned about the very short time within which the public will have its say on these important changes.

By limiting the consultation period to just 2 weeks, the Government is truncating the period in which people can get their submissions ready. The Government are then hoping to have this all wrapped up by 17 October - an extraordinarily short time-period for a bill of this magnitude - where as you would normally expect the process to run for six months.

That’s why we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to make sure your voice get heard.