Rushed ETS reform undermines climate change efforts

The rushed legislative process for the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill undermines democracy and our climate change efforts, says the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).

“The ETS is the Government’s primary tool for responding to climate change yet only a handful of days are available for public submissions on important proposed changes, and to sub-committees with just a handful of MPs,” says PEPANZ Chief Executive John Carnegie.

“This is important and complex work that will have a big impact on the costs imposed on New Zealand households and businesses. We need to get it right rather than rush it through for no clear reason.  

“For example, the use of high-quality international credits could help reduce global emissions far more effectively and at less cost than domestic efforts. Without this ‘safety valve’ there is a risk the carbon price becomes punitively high and the ETS dysfunctional, hurting our exporters.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to discuss this with MPs and neither will many other groups because of the rushed timeframe.

“It’s disappointing because up until the Zero Carbon Act there was a largely sound process run with climate change and ETS issues which were carefully considered and widely consulted on. A fair and transparent process helps to build support amongst businesses, the wider community and the political spectrum.”

The Environment Select Committee is holding truncated hearings on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill today, tomorrow and on 10 February.