Govt’s Christmas present – weaken climate action

Published: Thu 23 Dec 2010 03:27 PM
23 December 2010
Govt’s Christmas present – weaken climate action
The Government’s plans to have a one-sided review of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) can only lead to further weakening of an already weak scheme, Green Party Co-Leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
Dr Norman was responding to the Government’s announcement of a panel to review the ETS two days before Christmas.
“The Government has set up a one-sided panel to review the ETS. Talk of ‘balance’ is nonsense. There is not one single representative of the environment on their panel, but the polluting industries are well represented,” said Dr Norman.
“It’s inevitable an already weak ETS will be weakened further as a result of this review. Not a happy Christmas present for our kids who will inherit the climate chaos left by the Key Government.
“The review will also create further uncertainty for businesses planning to do the right thing and respond to climate change. In economic terms, they’re weakening the price signal. This is not the way to run a smart green economy.
“The review is yet another sign this Government is unable to manage the economy for our longer term interests. Business works best with certainty. The uncertainty created by this review will see decisions involving major levels of capital investment simply postponed.”
The review comes just a year after National significantly weakened the ETS, effectively increasing the subsidies paid to carbon polluters — costs borne by the tax payer.
“There are many ways for New Zealand to respond to the looming threat of climate change. We can invest in clean technologies and make the shift to a clean economy with lower emissions,” said Dr Norman.
“And we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, something successive Labour and National Governments have consistently failed to do.
“The best way to safeguard our future prosperity is to take action on climate change now,” Dr Norman said.

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