Agriculture must be part of Emissions Trading Scheme review

The National Government’s review of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) must take climate change seriously by making agriculture part of the discussion, and ensuring there is a meaningful price on carbon, the Green Party said today.

Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser announced today that agriculture, which makes up 47 percent of New Zealand’s emissions, will be excluded in its review the ETS.

“Agriculture must be part of the discussion, and its exclusion is at odds with the Prime Minister’s confident statement today that science will ‘fix’ agricultural emissions within 3-4 years,” said Green Party MP Kennedy Graham.

“National is doing a long-term disservice to farmers who need to start having a discussion now about how and when farmers should be exposed to an emissions price.  

“Agriculture will be a key part of the discussions at the Paris climate talks next week and it shows extremely bad faith for the Government to take it off the table before a deal has even been reached.

“The review of the ETS is an opportunity for the Government to make the scheme do what it was intended to – reduce carbon emissions.

“Climate pollution has only increased in New Zealand as National repeatedly watered down the ETS.

“Climate Change Minister Tim Groser has defended the ETS despite emissions steadily increasing under National’s watch.

“However, the Government’s own review paper shows just how ineffective the scheme has been, stating it had allowed New Zealand to meet its international obligations by buying cheap international carbon credits.

“It’s time to make the ETS do what it was originally intended to do, or replace it with something that will work, like a carbon tax.

“The Green Party favours a transparent and predictable carbon tax – one that ensures industry pays a fair price for its emissions and recycles the revenue back to families and small businesses in the form of a tax cut,” said Dr Graham.

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