“ACT has welcomed New Zealand Initiative Senior Economist Matt Burgess’s report on climate change policy Pretence of Necessity. It reiterates what ACT has been saying all along, our Government’s climate policies are costly, ineffective, and need to go,” says ACT’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.

“The report shows that our current approach to climate change is fundamentally misunderstood and based on assumptions that have been daydreamt on ideological bureaucrats whiteboards and sold to the people as necessities, when in reality they’re anything but.

“New Zealand is in the midst of a cost of living crisis and households are screaming out for more money in their back pocket. However the Government is intent on spending more than $2000 per household in the upcoming budget on climate bans and taxes that are costly and unnecessary

“ACT on the other hand would return the tax revenue collected from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to households in the form of a Carbon Tax Refund.

“As Mr Burgess wisely points out, the Government has already capped emissions so other policies cannot reduce emissions from under the cap anyway.

"ACT proposes a realistic, no-nonsense climate change policy that matches our efforts with our trading partners’ with minimal bureaucracy. We should set a cap on total emissions in line with the actual reductions of our trading partners, then allow New Zealanders to import high quality foreign carbon credits so we pay the world price, not an artificial price.

“ACT was the only political party to vote against the Zero Carbon Act because we knew it would lead to more bureaucracy rather than truly effective climate policy.

“We can only hope that other political parties wake up and follow Mr Burgess’s common sense approach to climate change.”