Why are we paying climate polluters $31m to pollute?

Figures in National’s 2015 Budget revealing that nearly $31 million is being spent on increasing greenhouse emissions show just how much the emissions trading scheme (ETS) is unfair to New Zealanders who are trying to do their bit to prevent climate change, the Green Party said.
 
“All New Zealanders are essentially giving climate polluters almost $31 million via the tax system, whether they like it or not,” Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said.
 
“The Budget has revealed that the Government handed out almost $114 million worth of free carbon credits to industries that cause climate change in the 2014/15 year but received only $83 million through the ETS. Taxpayers picked up the $31 million difference.
 
“National’s ETS failure means that even if someone is trying to reduce their own carbon footprint, their taxes are subsidising growing New Zealand’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. That’s hugely unfair.”
 
Under the ETS, many companies that emit greenhouse gases which cause climate change must purchase carbon credits to offset those emissions. Some industries receive an allocation of free credits and some polluters such as the dairy sector have no obligations to buy credits at all – taxpayers cover the cost of their emissions.
 
“The ETS is a farce. It doesn’t incentivise industry to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, like it’s supposed to.
 
“New Zealand’s emissions have grown by 20 percent since 2008 and are projected to grow by 48 percent in a decade.
 
“The Government’s own official information is that the ETS has had almost no impact on emissions. All it’s done is shift money from taxpayers to the biggest polluters.
 
“Incredibly, if New Zealand’s emissions continue to rise in the years ahead, the Treasury estimates that taxpayers will face up to $52 billion in costs.
 
“It’s time to scrap the ETS and introduce a simple system like a carbon tax on polluting businesses, and use the revenue from the carbon tax to cut the personal and company tax rates. This would make households and most businesses better off because they wouldn’t be subsidising dirty industries anymore.
 
“A carbon tax is a simple and transparent way for the companies and industries that are causing climate change to pay for it, instead of the complicated, expensive, and ineffective ETS,” Dr Norman said.

 

ETS Revenue & Expenditure, from Budget 2015
Year Revenue Expenditure Difference
2012/13 $40,474,000 $54,823,000 -$14,349,000
2013/14 $13,410,000 $46,223,000 -$32,813,000
2014/15 $83,031,000 $113,717,000 -$30,686,000
2015/16 (forecast) $143,650,000 $159,800,000 -$16,150,000

 

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Green Party dismayed at delay in intensive winter grazing regulations

“The Government’s decision to cave into agribusiness and delay the implementation of critical regulations on intensive winter grazing is a bad outc...
Read More

Story

Seaweek: Green Party calls on New Zealanders to make submissions supporting Waiheke Rāhui to protect declining kaimoana

The Green Party supports the Rāhui placed around Waiheke Island by Ngāti Pāoa to protect declining kaimoana and as part of Seaweek, is asking New Z...
Read More

Story

Green Party calls on Government to stop dirty fishing practice of bottom trawling

The Green Party is calling on the Government to urgently stop dirty, degrading fishing practices in areas most vulnerable to destruction.
Read More

Story

Greens commit to ensuring strong oceans protection this term

The Green Party will work with Labour this term to ensure better protections for our oceans, Green MP Eugenie Sage said today.
Read More

Story

Successful prosecution of Talley’s deep-water fishing division shows need for more marine protected areas and better enforcement

Today’s ruling that Talley’s deep-water fishing division, Amaltal, is guilty of bottom trawling in the Hikurangi Marine Reserve demonstrates the ne...
Read More

Story

Green Party commits to stronger urban tree protection and no new mines on public conservation land

The Green Party is the only party in Parliament which is explicitly committing to protecting public conservation land and the indigenous plants and...
Read More