Last night’s volley of failed Labour-Green amendments to the Emissions Trading Scheme could have driven the costs of the ETS through the roof for negligible environmental benefit, ACT Deputy Leader John Boscawen said today.
“The Labour Party amendments would have removed the two-for-one discount that currently applies, made consumers and households dependent on local carbon credit suppliers by strangling imports, and doubled the price cap from $25 to $50,” Mr Boscawen said.
“The Green Party would have done all of the above, as well as set a minimum price on carbon emissions and establish not one but two new climate change bureaucracies.
"If the Opposition parties were in power they would like to see the emissions price rise to $50 per tonne. This would increase the overall ETS cost for a household of four to well over $500 per annum.
“That might be an acceptable cost if it was a matter of saving the planet, but it is not. At 0.2 per cent of global emissions, New Zealand could not affect the climate even if it wanted to.
“Some say we should be setting an example, but what example would we be setting? We are already at a competitive disadvantage to our major trading partners, China and the US, who do not have an ETS. Foreign politicians would quickly see that putting a $500 per household drag on one’s economy for no environmental benefit is very silly.
“ACT has worked hard to ensure our ETS does not disadvantage our economy, unlike Labour and the Greens who would rather shoot our economy in the foot,” Mr Boscawen said.