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ETS defenders want 50% limit on foreign carbon credits

BUSINESSDESK: Politicians are in for an ear bashing from environmentalists and foresters at select committee hearings today on the need to limit New Zealand industrial carbon emitters' use of foreign-sourced carbon credits to 50% of total obligations.

The push, led by Commissioner for the Environment 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.

Dr Wright, an officer of parliament, broke with parliamentary convention yesterday when she released a statement drawing attention to her submission, to be presented orally at parliament today, 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 Dr Wright called carbon-intensive industries, "to pay for only 5% of their emissions indefinitely".

"In such circumstances, there is no way New Zealand would reach its legislated target of a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2050," she says.

Dr Wright and other submitters also called for a cap on the total number of foreign-sourced credits that could be surrendered under the New Zealand ETS.

Unlike most other countries with an ETS-style carbon pricing system, New Zealand allows large emitters to buy as many foreign credits as it likes.

The glut of European Union emissions reduction units has dropped global carbon prices under $4 a tonne in recent weeks, far lower than ever envisaged when the government imposed a $25 a tonne upper limit that emitters would face in the transitional phase of the scheme, which Dr Wright argues is now indefinitely locked in.

Also supporting the 50% cap on foreign credits are forestry farming submitters such as New Zealand Carbon Farming Group, which called for New Zealand "to introduce, without delay, a cap on international carbon units of 50%".

"A cap ... would not only deliver on the government's stated ETS objectives, but would also deliver a host of other long-term sustainable environmental, reputational and economic benefits to New Zealand," the submission from the country's "largest supplier of post-1989 sourced carbon credits" says.

Dr Wright's submission says "there is a balance to strike between allowing some international trade in carbon credits (so the least cost carbon reductions can occur worldwide) and making sure that investment also contributes to creating a domestic low carbon economy".

"New Zealand credits [NZUs] drive green growth, energy efficiency and forestry within New Zealand."

Comments and questions

The fact its falling apart overseas proves it was setup by the hypocrites as a big eco money making fraud.

Wight is wrong!

Missed the r - Wright is wrong

The whole carbon credit scenario debate is akin to people arguing about the actual colour of the emperor's clothing.

Anyone who calls CO2 a pollutant doesn't deserve to be heard. If only the plants could tell how much they love the stuff. The foresters are rent seeking - fair enough. The ETS will have an unmeasurable effect on global temperature - that we implemented it under that guise is the farce.

The original scheme was set up by Enron.
We all know what they were like and what happened to them.
It is just another money making scheme.
Its monopolies that just charge on the cost of carbon credits to the end user
No change in carbon emmissions

"In such circumstances, there is no way New Zealand would reach its legislated target of a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2050," she says.

She could leave out the first three words and be even more truthful. NZ might as well legislate to stop the tide coming in.

The only way that target would be reached is if there is either an almighty economic catastrophe (such as would result were the Greens elected Government) or if some revolutionary technology is developed - which is utterly unpredictable.

But Alan, the loons were trying to legislate to stop the tide coming in. Unfortunately, the cataclysmic sea rises just ain't happened proving the Emissions Scam as useless as Wrights communistic views.

You are damned right. The NZ position on climate change was all based on getting Helen Clark appointed to a tax free top position at the UN, which she succeeded in securing. Another corrupt Labour Party deal for Aunty Helen.

The issue is Shonk-y put in place the emissions scam after labeling it a hoax in 2006. New Zealand's fiscal policy and economic outlook has been the hoax since.

I don't get it. Global warming is a global problem. If New Zealanders are obliged by the ETS to pay for the abatement of emissions, why would it matter where that abatement occurs.

In the Kyoto Protocol, 190 countries signed up to the view that the money should flow to where it would have the greatest incremental impact in abating global emissions. The Greens and the Clark Government were strong on this when the ETS was first enacted in 2008.

Now Ms Wright says that is a good argument for 50% of the money but it doesn't apply to the other 50%. She doesn't say why not.

Who, exactly, is paying this person to push her views on us? Oh wait, it is us, the taxpayer!

Labour (Helen Clark) appointed her. Enough said!!

So Jan Wright is happy for children in NZ to go hungry because their parents live in the only country in the world to charge motorists for their emissions.
Is Jan Wright a Labour Party plant? I think all the Commissioners should go, childrens, race relations, human rights, environment, they are all a waste of time. I don't think one of them has achieved any damn thing.

ETS is biggest crock and now albatross strung around the neck of NZ.

First I blamed Stalin Clarke and her bent brigade, but now John Key and cohorts have carried on the insanity ... bring back the Don!

They want more control-they don’t trust markets—not even markets that are legislated..

Communist regimes would be proud of them!

The Emmissions Trading Scam is a crock and should be abandoned; Has JK got enough backbone to do this?