The score so far

Element - - Business -

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment to­tal emis­sions since 1990 peaked in 2005, and have been trend­ing down­wards since 2006. But the min­istry be­lieves most of th­ese re­duc­tions are due to the down­turn in the econ­omy re­duc­ing trans­port use and drought re­duc­ing live­stock lev­els, rather than the ETS. lead­er­ship.”

Dave Clen­don, spokesper­son for the Green Party on com­merce, ex­pressed a dif­fer­ent view.

“The idea that we are lead­ing the world on this is a bit of myth,” he said. “The Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme has be­come very com­plex, and frankly it is fail­ing.” He ar­gued for a re­turn to a sim­pler ‘car­bon tax’ to pro­vide clar­ity for busi­nesses, many of which he feels have be­come quite cyn­i­cal about the whole emis­sions trad­ing ap­proach.

“There is a lot of talk about ‘it’s im­pos­ing costs on us’. Well, that is really the point,” he said. “The idea is to in­crease the cost of emit­ting to cre­ate the in­cen­tive for peo­ple to do bet­ter and re­duce their car­bon re­quire­ments.”

The party’s cli­mate change spokesman, Kennedy Gra­ham, also points out that New Zealand’s net green­house gas emis­sions have ac­tu­ally in­creased by nearly 60% since 1992. He ar­gues that the ETS now has no dis­cernible ef­fect in re­duc­ing them and is not com­pat­i­ble with other sim­i­lar sys­tems overseas.

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