ETS defenders seek 50% limit on foreign carbon creditsPoliticians were expected to get an ear-bashing from both environmentalists and foresters at select committee hearings on Wednesday morning on the need to limit New Zealand industrial carbon emitters' use of foreign-sourced carbon credits to 50 percent of total obligations.
The push, led by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, is opposed by the large emitter lobby, with Business New Zealand arguing any move to pump up rock-bottom prices for New Zealand Units will undermine the "least cost" principle that drives the emissions trading scheme.
Wright, an Officer of Parliament, broke with parliamentary convention on Tuesday when she released a statement drawing attention to her submission, to be presented orally at Parliament on Wednesday, in which she described proposed amendments to the ETS as making "a farce of our response to climate change."
The cumulative impact of the reforms proposed in the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill would be to lock in "big polluters", as Wright called carbon-intensive industries, "to pay for only 5 percent of their emissions indefinitely." More >>.
Forest owners have this week endorsed the strong criticisms made by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment of proposed changes to the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme.
“The commissioner and our members continue to believe that an ETS is the right mechanism to price carbon and reduce emissions. But despite being significantly weakened by previous amendments, changes now before a select committee will weaken the scheme further,” says Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes.
“With carbon prices hovering around $NZ5 a tonne, there is no incentive for emitters to invest in clean technology when even that price is halved for them. Nor is there the incentive for land owners to plant trees to store carbon.”
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