The score so far
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.