Thursday, 8 April 2021

Coal boiler ban is virtue signalling


“The Government’s ban on coal-fired boilers won’t stop one gram of emissions because the Emissions Trading Scheme already sets a hard cap,” says ACT’s Environment Spokesperson Simon Court.

This idea is nothing more than virtue signalling and it shows the Government doesn't understand the way our climate change policies work.

“New Zealand already has 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.

“Coal is already covered by the ETS and the costs of emissions are already priced in.

“If we really want to get serious about reducing our dependence on coal, New Zealand needs to get real about how we treat low-emission alternative fuels like natural gas. Reversing the ban on offshore gas exploration would reduce our future reliance on coal.

“The ban also jumps the gun on the Climate Commission’s final report.

“Submissions still being compiled, but the Government says ‘This is the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s draft package of advice to Government in February.’

“The Government is playing politics with climate change.

“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. It will undermine the prosperity of New Zealand, restrict choice, and have a limited impact on emissions.

“The ETS – and not ad hoc bans, regulation, taxes and subsidies – is the most cost-effective tool for reducing emissions.

“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. New Zealanders should reject it completely.