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Consultation under way on ETS changes

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Government today released a consultation document setting out proposed changes to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

"The ETS is the most cost effective and efficient way we can reduce our emissions and do our fair share on the global issue of climate change," say Climate Change Minister Tim Groser and Primary Industries Ministers David Carter and Nathan Guy.

Today's announcement follows the first mandatory review of the scheme last year which recommended several refinements, including extending the transitional implementation phase of the scheme and changing aspects of how forestry is treated.

"The proposals reflect a number of the Panel's recommendations, while taking account of developments on the international front following the United Nations climate change meeting in Durban last December," Mr Groser said.

The proposed changes include:

� A more gradual phase out of the 'transition measures' put in place for business;

� The introduction of more explicit powers for the Government to auction New Zealand Units within an overall cap and restrict the use of overseas units in the ETS;

� The introduction of offsetting for pre-1990 forest landowners and a review of the level of compensation being provided; and

� Subject to a 2014 review, provision for a maximum three-year postponement of the agriculture sector's inclusion.

"These proposed changes will enable New Zealand to do its fair share while ensuring the ETS doesn't impact unreasonably on business and households," Mr Groser said.

"Foresters are an integral part of the ETS which is why the Government has fought hard to influence the international Kyoto rules to ensure they reflect the environmental benefits of the forestry sector," said Mr Guy.

"With regard to agriculture's inclusion in the ETS, the Government's position is clear. Agriculture will enter only if our trading partners make more progress on tackling climate change, and there are practical technologies for farmers to reduce emissions," said Mr Carter.

Consultation on the proposed changes will run until 11 May with a series of nationwide hui/meetings planned for interested parties.

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