“A startling admission from the Climate Commission chair that his group’s draft advice to Government does not recommend the most efficient pathway or policies for emissions reduction brings the whole process into disrepute,” says ACT Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.
“On a podcast over the weekend Commission chair Dr Rod Carr said ‘it's very clear that the commission is not tasked with finding the least cost pathway.’
“The alarming part of this statement is that it is very clear the Commission’s advice provides recommendations that would see New Zealanders take on significant costs without making any change whatsoever to total emissions.
“We already have in place a system to drive emissions down efficiently in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
“The ETS sets a cap on total emissions and allows New Zealanders to make choices about how they do that.
“But the Commission’s draft advice recommends a plethora of changes the Government should adopt that would see New Zealanders’ choices restricted and costs imposed, such restricting the purchase of certain vehicles, stock reductions on farms and prohibiting new gas connections.
“But none of these policies change the underlying emissions set by the ETS cap and simply add costs and restrictions to the lives of New Zealanders.
“The Minister for Climate Change must ensure that the policies the Government endorses to meet New Zealand’s climate change obligations don’t impose unnecessary costs on New Zealanders and follow the most efficient path possible, through the ETS.
“As NZ Initiative senior economist Matt Burgess pointed out on the podcast, New Zealand already has multiple pathways to achieve net zero emissions in 2050 under current policy settings, including the ETS.
“The Commission’s proposals aren’t only drastic but completely unnecessary.”