Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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HomePoliticalGovernment Should Reject Climate Commission’s Plans

Government Should Reject Climate Commission’s Plans


Wellington (Wednesday, 9 June 2021):
The New Zealand Initiative calls on the Government
to reject the Climate Change Commission’s recommendations
and instead rely on the Emissions Trading Scheme’s cap to
achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“The Climate
Change Commission has based its plan on the idea that the
ETS does not cap emissions,” says Dr Oliver Hartwich,
Executive Director of the New Zealand Initiative. “But an
ETS cap is the government’s policy and, since June of last
year, it is the law.”

“Only this week, the Climate
Change Minister said the government’s reforms of the ETS
“put a sinking lid on emissions”,” says Dr
Hartwich.

“The Commission’s plan cannot reduce
emissions by a single gram since the ETS already caps
emissions. You can only cap emissions once,” says Dr
Hartwich.

“The Commission’s plan is based on a
misunderstanding. The government should ignore the
Commission’s advice.”

“The Commission says
stockpiled carbon units mean the ETS cap is not fixed. But
the government takes that stockpile into account when it
decides how many units to auction each year. If the
stockpile were not there, the government would auction more
units.” The Commission’s claim is wrong.[1]

The
New Zealand Initiative supports the commitment to lower
emissions and the emissions targets agreed by
Parliament.

“Because we support the net-zero goal,
we oppose the Climate Change Commission’s plan,” says
Matt Burgess, Senior Economist at the New Zealand
Initiative.

“The first job of any emissions policy
is to reduce emissions. Today’s plan from the Climate
Change Commission does not do that.”

“The Climate
Change Commission has now made two botched attempts to
explain how its plan cuts emissions under an ETS,” says Mr
Burgess.

“Households and businesses will
unnecessarily pay many times too much to cut emissions
because the Climate Change Commission refuses to reduce
emissions at least cost,” says Mr Burgess.

“That
puts our emissions targets at risk.”

“We can
manage afforestation risks without abandoning a least cost
approach,” says Mr Burgess.

“Rod Carr had one job,
to deliver a credible path to our emissions targets. He has
failed in that duty.”

[1]
The Ministry for the Environment states auction volumes are
set taking into account stockpiled units (April 2021): https://environment.govt.nz/what-government-is-doing/key-initiatives/ets/nz-ets-market/setting-unit-limits-in-the-nz-ets/

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