Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Coal the latest consequence of bad policy


“ACT feels genuinely sorry for the Prime Minister every time the market she’s tampered with proves her nuclear free moment was just a line in a speech, not the harbinger of reductions in New Zealand’s climate change emissions,” says ACT Environment spokesperson Simon Court.

“The latest example is Genesis Energy’s announcement that it will bring a 240 megawatt coal-fired unit at Huntly out of storage to provide backup generation if dry conditions persist.

“This is far from a one-off though – coal imports have increased by 40 per cent over the past three years under Jacinda Ardern.

“Natural gas is a much better alternative to coal – in fact practically everywhere but New Zealand it’s considered an attractive transition fuel away from carbon-heavier alternatives.

“But no companies are seriously interested in finding more gas reserves here thanks to the Ardern Government’s ban on new exploration, whether they hold existing permits or not.

“ACT believes the Government should step away from its futile and damaging meddling in the economy and let the business community prove it can reduce New Zealand’s carbon footprint.

“If the Government was really interested in lowering emissions it would set a cap on the amount of CO2 New Zealanders can emit, providing a real incentive for the business community to invest in low emission technologies.

“If they set an even playing field rather than making tokenistic interventions that make things worse they would be surprised at how well the private sector would respond to reducing emissions.”

ENDS