Auckland, New Zealand - Greenpeace has welcomed the Green’s support for the emissions trading scheme (ETS), saying the party has secured some positive measures.
“We’re obviously disappointed that the Labour-led Government is determined to continue subsidising the agriculture sector with taxpayer’s money. It is, after all, the sector responsible for half of New Zealand’s emissions,” said Greenpeace Senior Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer.
“But improvements to the legislation and a $1billion package of energy efficiency and conservation measures are real steps forward.
“The Green’s support brings the ETS one step closer to becoming law, at which point political parties can focus on developing the additional measures needed for New Zealand to make a credible contribution to tackling climate change.
“The risk is that New Zealand introduces the scheme, then sits back and feels the job’s done. An ETS is only a small first step and needs to be backed up by other measures to ensure we actually reduce emissions, such as a strong moratorium on new fossil fuel generation and a halt to large scale forest conversion for dairying.
“We’ll continue to campaign against the massive subsidy to the agriculture sector under the ETS ($1.3 billion up until 2013), and push for options to reduce emissions from agriculture outside of the scheme. Greenpeace welcomes any government investment to this effect.”
Mr Boxer said to maintain any kind of credibility on the world stage and to safeguard its clean green brand, New Zealand needed to set a domestic emission reduction target of 30 per cent by 2020.