“Just like with the Zero Carbon Bill in 2019, ACT is the only party in Parliament to stand up against flawed climate legislation,” says ACT’s Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.
“The Government’s emissions budgets are nothing more than a fashion parade of terrible green policy designed to give the impression of climate action, just without the action.
“The Emissions Trading Scheme is our primary response to climate change. It puts a price on emissions and encourages businesses to reduce their emissions in the most cost-effective way.
“There is already a cap on New Zealand’s carbon emissions and the Minister can vary that cap right now. But he has chosen not to.
“The serious flaw in the Government’s emissions budgets is that they can only be met through domestic mitigation. That ensures we’re going to pay more for emissions reductions than is necessary, driving up costs for households, and putting us at a disadvantage to our trading partners. We should be able to buy high-quality foreign carbon credits.
“The Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan on Monday will try to centrally plan the economy, micro-managing which technologies can be used by which industries. And any emissions reductions achieved through the Emissions Reduction Plan will just free up credits for use through the ETS rendering those additional policies useless.
“ACT has a way to make the ETS even better. Instead of the Government profiteering off higher carbon prices, ACT would give this money back to Kiwis with a Carbon Tax Refund of $250 per person per year.
“Kiwis would have more confidence in climate policy if it was actually providing incentives for them to reduce their emissions and put some cash back in their pocket.
“Labour and National are more concerned about appearance of environmental progress than actual progress. ACT stands for real change in our climate policy, ensuring it is practical, effective, and not going to make life harder for New Zealanders.”