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ETS scheme in New Zealand delayed
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Forest owners say the New Zealand government appears to be unconcerned about the tide of European carbon credits flooding onto the New Zealand market. Source: New Zealand Herald, voxy.co.nz
Delays to parts of the emissions trading scheme (ETS) mean farmers will not have to buy carbon credits to offset livestock and pasture emissions until at least 2015, and the two-for-one carbon credit scheme for emitters will remain in place instead of ending this year.
Forest owners said the Government appeared to be unconcerned about "the tide of European carbon credits flooding onto the New Zealand market".
The announcement would not stimulate the new carbon-absorbing forestry planting the country needed, said Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes.
"The government is making sure the carbon price doesn't get too high, in order to protect jobs and exports at a time of global economic turmoil.
"But what about those who invest in low carbon technologies or plant carbon forests? They need protection from the price getting too low."
Rhodes said New Zealand needed to follow the lead of Australia and the EU by controlling the supply and demand for carbon credits through auctioning or other mechanisms.
"[The New Zealand Government] decision to honour the commitment to pay compensation to owners of pre-1990 forests for the liabilities they will face if they ever change their land-use is very welcome. But today's announcements will not stimulate the new carbon absorbing forestry planting the country needs.”
Mr Rhodes said carbon markets existed only because governments see them as being effective tools for bringing about change. Left to their own devices the NZETS and other national carbon markets would fail.
He said that controlling both the supply and demand for carbon credits is important whether through auctioning or other mechanisms. Australia and the EU recognise the importance of restricting the supply of international carbon units and have struck a balance between what mitigation they will allow to be done offshore and what they expect to be done onshore.