NZ Timber Federation Welcomes ETS Suspension

Published: Wed 26 Nov 2008 02:52 PM
New Zealand Timber Industry Federation
NZ Timber Federation Welcomes Government’s Suspension of the Emissions Trading Scheme
“Government’s review of the Emissions Trading Scheme is a very positive move for the timber processing industry” according to Howard Tonge, President of the NZTIF.
“The proposed scheme provided financial incentives in the billions of dollars for forest owners to switch from growing trees for harvesting and employment to speculating in carbon trading.
“There are much smarter and more effective ways of meeting Kyoto obligations. It is essential that New Zealand waits to see what Australia does and that we harmonise our system with theirs.
“The existing scheme is about lining the pockets of forest owners, at the expense of jobs in the timber processing industry. Right now we think New Zealand would prefer more employment.
“The forestry lobby did a brilliant job convincing the previous government that its forestry investment schemes were really about saving the planet. The reality is that the trees were planted to be harvested for money and that’s why timber processors in New Zealand invested hundreds of millions of dollars in processing plants in expectation of a widely publicised “wall of wood”.
“Now foresters say that the “wall of wood” won’t be there because the trees will be locked up as carbon sinks.
“Ironically carbon locked up in processed timber would far outlive a standing tree.
“And claims that millions of dollars in forestry investment has been deterred by the government announcement is probably not a bad thing for the investors concerned as most earlier ones have lost their shirt.
“We already have sufficient trees for harvesting and processing here especially if we don’t export them as raw logs to Asia.

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