PETITION: Reject the Climate Commission's Plan

ACT supports the goal of reducing New Zealand’s emissions, but the Climate Commission’s proposals will hit Kiwis with higher costs, give massive power to politicians, and fail to achieve its goal.

Every political party except ACT supported the Zero Carbon Act which created the Climate Commission. Now the Commission has demanded industries be shut down, herds culled, and technologies banned.

The Commission’s proposals would micromanage our agriculture, energy, and transport sectors. It proposes drastic interference in the daily lives of New Zealanders, with bans on new gas connections and imports of petrol and diesel vehicles, and eliminating up to 15 percent of the stock from our farms.

The proposals would see the government take more control over our lives than at any time since Muldoon, but they won’t stop one gram of emissions. Why? We already have a cap on emissions through the Emissions Trading Scheme. The ETS sets a cap on emissions and lets the price of credits be set by the market. Every time a ban or subsidy reduces emissions in one industry, it frees up emissions credits to be used elsewhere.

Even worse, the plan shuts off access to cleaner energy, like natural gas, which help transition us away from coal. If New Zealanders want to cook with gas, it might cost more, but at least they’ll be free to choose.

But the Commission’s proposals have nothing to do with reducing emissions – they’re about control. They would require industries to lobby and counter-lobby the government for favourable treatment, instead of getting on with producing goods and services.

The Commission’s central plan of ‘transformational and fundamental change to the country’s economy and society’ could be disastrous if we end up using the wrong tools. The ETS – and not ad hoc bans, regulation, taxes and subsidies – is the most cost-effective tool for reducing emissions.

The plan will undermine the prosperity of New Zealand, restrict choice, and have a limited impact on emissions. New Zealanders should reject it.

Read ACT's submission to the Climate Commission here.

Simon Court
ACT Environment Spokesperson

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