Greens double down on climate

11 Sep 2017

Greens double down on climate


Green and Labour policies on climate change taken together would bring a much more stringent approach to emissions reduction, risking investment and jobs, says BusinessNZ.

Labour's climate change policy released last week set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Greens policy released this week seeks to put New Zealand on track to net zero emissions by 2050 – but for all greenhouse gases, not just carbon.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said there were practical concerns with both sets of targets, not least of which was highlighted by modelling undertaken by Vivid Economics for the cross parliamentary group of MPs GLOBE-NZ that showed the closure of energy intensive industry was required to meet a net zero by 2050 target.

"We need to have climate change policies that help New Zealand take action on climate change, but without disadvantaging us against trade competitors.

"Massive increases in the price of fuel and power with no guarantee of emission reductions won't help."

Another notable difference between the Green and Labour policies was the confirmation by the Greens that it seeks to abandon an emissions trading scheme for a carbon tax.

Mr Hope said the lessons since the scheme's establishment in 2008 combined with the absence of international carbon trading meant that business would be open to discussing all options for incentivising reductions.

But there would need to be a more realistic approach to emission reduction targets.

"A too-stringent target that diminishes economic growth isn't in anyone's interest.

"More discussion with business is needed to achieve policies that work not only for the environment but for a prosperous economy."