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New Zealand Suspends Emission Trading

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years ago

Suspending emissions trading scheme "catastrophic"

Thursday, 20 November 2008

 

 

Mike Smith

 

The New Zealand Government’s decision to suspend the emissions trading scheme has been described as “absolutely catastrophic” for the economy and the burgeoning carbon market’s credibility.

 

The newly elected National Party-led Government has announced a policy agreement with its ACT Party partner to suspend the emissions trading scheme (ETS). A parliamentary select committee will review the ETS and resurrect the possibility of introduce a carbon tax instead.

 

The news has shocked GreenAir Ltd, a company set up to specifically develop forestry carbon credit projects in New Zealand and Australia.

 

The South Island agent for GreenAir, Allan Laurie of Laurie Forestry, said the company was set up by a South Canterbury (NZ) investor to earn revenue from forests while having a positive impact on the environment.

 

Since going into the market earlier this year, GreenAir had signed up 250 forest owners with over 300,000 hectares of forests in the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

 

They were getting prepared to register their projects under the proposed ETS legislation. Had the projects gone ahead as planned, they would have collectively through their projects have reduced the amount New Zealand’s carbon in the atmosphere by over four-and-a-half million tons by maintaining their forests, while earning NZ$135 million annually from buyers of carbon credits internationally.

 

Laurie said he had already instituted contracts for 2008 and 2009 for carbon credit buyers.

 

“These contracts are now in jeopardy and has since beenwithdrawn as a result of the government’s decision to suspend the emissions trading scheme.

 

“Collectively, that will rob New Zealand and New Zealand forest owners of NZ$270 million and clearly have negative impacts on the environment.”

 

From GreenAir’s perspective, there was a significant loss of credibility of the New Zealand Government and the New Zealand ETS, where international buyers had made a clear commitment to buy units from New Zealand forest growers.

 

“So for us, the cessation or parking of the ETS has been absolutely catastrophic and we have made all attempts to highlight this to the New Zealand Government and official responsible.”

 

He said the company had found the government seemed very closed minded on the impact parking the ETS through to 2009 might have. International buyers of credits had effectively walked off the scene and this jeopardised any possibility of an ETS being effective in the future.

 

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posted to ClimateConcern

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