Government Needs To Put Brakes On ETS

Published: Tue 17 Nov 2009 09:44 AM
Government Needs To Put Brakes On ETS
John Boscawen MP, ACT New Zealand
Monday, November 16 2009
ACT New Zealand MP John Boscawen today urged the Government to slow down and await the outcome of negotiations in Copenhagen before rushing any legislation through, following the Finance and Select Committee’s inability to reach an agreement on the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill.
"The process has been rushed from the start, but there is no need for it to continue this way," Mr Boscawen said.
"ACT recognises that under the existing ETS scheme the stationary energy, industrial processes and liquid fossil fuel sectors come into effect on January 1 2010. ACT would support National in passing legislation to delay this until at least January 1 2011 allowing more time for the following issues to be considered:
• What, if any commitment will New Zealand make beyond 2012? The final outcome of the negotiations in Copenhagen will not be known for a number of years.
• What scheme will Australia adopt? Australia has not yet finalised its own Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and only yesterday announced that it will no longer be including agriculture. As our ETS scheme is to be aligned with Australia’s, it’s crazy to push through this legislation when we don’t even know exactly what Australia’s scheme will be.
• We do not know what some of our key trading competitors - including the US - will do. By implementing an ETS, we will be putting costs on our exporters and if our trade competitors do not follow suit then we will be at a disadvantage.
• Under Labour’s scheme private property rights were expropriated from many, including forestry owners and this Bill does little to address those injustices.
"ACT believes that, if it must do anything, the Government should introduce a low-level carbon tax rather than an Emission Trading Scheme – which will be difficult and expensive to administer. Looking to the future: if the theory that human action causes climate change is disproved, then an ETS will be even more difficult to reverse.
"Any modelling on the ETS is a theoretical and academic exercise in the absence of knowing exactly what commitments we have. Labour and the Greens are simply scaremongering when they claim that changes to the ETS will add $105m to our external debt by 2050. The reality is no one knows," Mr Boscawen said.

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