The National Government is choosing to disregard the welfare of future generations by allowing polluters to pay less than half the true cost of their climate emissions, the Green Party said today.
A new OECD study conservatively estimates the cost of future climate disasters caused by emissions today - such as droughts, floods and destructive storms - at around $NZ47 for every tonne of CO2. Polluters in New Zealand currently pay just $18.85 for each tonne CO2.
"National falsely believes it needs to protect the short-term profits of a few polluters, even if it means our children and grandchildren inherit a climate that is unsafe and unstable,” said Green Party coleader James Shaw.
“The low carbon price today is a legacy of National’s decision to allow cheap, fraudulent carbon credits to be traded in New Zealand, and the decision to exclude emitters like the agricultural sector from having to pay for their pollution.
“If governments like ours don’t act now to cut climate pollution, our children and grandchildren will inherit a world where it's harder to grow food and where there’s more global insecurity. This is more short-term thinking from National,” said Mr Shaw.