Member log in

No restrictions on foreign-sourced carbon credits confirmed

BUSINESSDESK: The government MPs have, as expected, blocked attempts by Labour and Green Party politicians to limit the number of foreign-sourced carbon credits used to offset New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions under its Kyoto Protocol obligations.

The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Bill was reported back to parliament by the finance and expenditure select committee with only technical amendments, and a decision that capping the use of foreign credits would compromise the emissions trading scheme principle of "least cost of compliance".

The policy has seen major emitters such as oil and electricity companies snap up some of the lowest cost carbon units available on global markets, where prices have slumped to as little as $2 a tonne.

New Zealand Units, issued by the government, continue to be worth slightly more, at around $3 a tonne, but well below the $25 a tonne maximum price put on carbon when the ETS was introduced in 2009.

All other countries with ETS-style schemes require between 50% and 90% of carbon credits used in their schemes to be locally sourced to spur domestic climate change action.

The Green Party's minority opinion on the select committee's report-back says the proposed amendments will "eviscerate an already weak ETS to the point of irrelevance", while Labour's minority opposing view says the bill "does nothing to protect New Zealand from an impending tsunami of cheap international credits".

New Zealand would become "a dumping ground for tens of millions of cheap international units that will have nowhere else to go due to significant restrictions on their inclusion in other schemes".

"The implications for the forestry sector are catastrophic."

Government MPs say they had considered the call for a cap on foreign-sourced units, but decided regulation-making powers in the existing legislation were "an appropriate and efficient tool for use when circumstances warrant".

The Greens say the decision would initially cost taxpayers $328 million.

"The New Zealand household is paying for subsidising businesses and farms by this amount, either as consumer or primarily as taxpayer."

Comments and questions

Carbon credits... or Cap n Trade as the Yanks say is a sure fire way to kill SMEs globally. If you cap the Carbon output or in real terms right to produce (as we live in a carbon based world, life itself, most chemicals, etc .) then the price escalates and the global corporations are the only ones that can afford to buy.... FFS wake up people.

Hey Anonymous Dude. The price of carbon is less than a freakin' flat white. The NZ spot price today is $3.10 a tonne of CO2.. There is NO cap on carbon in either the Kyoto Protocol or the NZ ETS. How about you wake up?

So the Greens are getting their knickers in a twist because their artifical market has collapsed? It's almost as if no-one is interested anymore.

Seems like a waste of time if the price is T$2-$3. Would show there is no need for the scheme at all.

I don't understand this at all. The point of an emmissions trading scheme vs a carbon tax is to reduce emmissions in the most efficient way possible by making the carbon savings where it is cheapest to do so through an efficient market. If foriegn carbon credits are cheaper that simply means you get more bang for your buck in terms of carbon reduction by doing it overseas than in New Zealand. How could that possibly be a bad thing? It doesn't matter where the carbon reduction is made from an environmental standpoint, as carbon levels in the atmosphere have a global effect.

The whole end point of the fear-mongering dangerous global warming group is to create a centrally controlled government dispensing energy to whom it decrees as part of a centrally controlled political and social super nanny state, staffed by united nations idealists and die hard communists. Part of their goal is to make non-economic energy competitive by artificially raising the cost of traditional fuel by adding massive taxes on them, using "dangerous" carbon as the chosen ruse. And guess who has the greatest shareholding in these un-economic energy enterprises? Yes Al Gore and his cahoots. Gore, the angry man who was spurned by US voters.
Fortunately the whole scam is collapsing, and the carbon credit price is a great indicator. What's more, the greenhouse effect assumes the world is like a giant greenhouse, nicely glasses in. Well it isn't, as anyone who has experienced a night in a cloudless sky. The heat vanishes up through the atmosphere into the stratosphere and beyond. This nonsense about ll the pent up energy equivalent to thousands of atomic bombs is just lies. Yet we have one of the nameless and faceless editors of the Herald on Saturday 20th October 2012 " Our " view ( how quaint, who exactly is this illustrious "our" , hiding under name secrecy) suggesting that anyone disagreeing with the scam of the century ought not to have any right to being published! Despite the lies and deceit of UK scientists and others using the ruse to benefit themselves. Perhaps all the "smart" journalists were away on a nice long week-end, and left one the the wannabee editors at liberty to express views that undermine freedom of speech. What a disgrace that we have such notions in New Zealand. Here is an editor who is obviously so full of himself/herself obviously believes the science of dangerous runaway man made global warming is settled, when any true scientist knows that science is never settled. If it where, there would be no need for any further research into anything. Such preposterous notions by an editor need to be excised from sensible society. The attacks on dishonest scientists were as a result of their deliberate attempts to hide from the paying public that they couldn't understand why there hasn't been any noticeable warming, and then deliberately deleting email trails and asking others to do the same.

The problem with the so called experts at the IPCC , NIWA and the prime Ministers Chief Scientist, is that they hold notions that the "climate" science is settled. They forget how little they really know, even though they might hold grand opinions about themselves. Let's see what another eminent world scientists had to say :
‘The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who looks for a source of power in the transformation of the atom is talking moonshine.’
— Ernest Rutherford, 1936