“Today’s announcement is a bonanza for bureaucrats and a travesty for taxpayers,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“All the Government needed to announce today was that emissions under the ETS would be capped at the same level as our trading partners. That would meet our climate commitments and allow consumers to choose how they limit their emissions. If you emit less, you keep more of your own money.
“Instead, the Government has chosen the most expensive and bureaucratic route possible to emissions reduction. They’ve maximised political theatre while actively rejecting the least-cost path to emissions reduction during a cost of living crisis.
“The plan is based around centrally planning 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.
“Some of the policies announced, like the cash for clunkers system, are proven to be dogs and have been tried and failed overseas.
“The announcement of a new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions is another example of bloated bureaucracy. What’s the point of this organisation when the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre already exists?
“Setting a goal of reducing distance travelled by light vehicles by 20 per cent by 2035 betrays their real intention of lifestyle change, the climate isn’t affected by how often cars are on the road, it’s about emissions which are already in the ETS.
“Labour plans to alter the ETS to get “a balance of gross and net emissions targets”. This flies in the face of science. The planet doesn’t care if one less tonne is emitted or one more tonne is removed from the atmosphere. So much for ‘trust the science’.
“The climate doesn’t care which country emissions come from, just the overall quantity. Thus, the current law requiring New Zealanders only offset their emissions within New Zealand is nonsensical. If Kiwi firms can offset their emissions more affordably offshore, they should be allowed to do so. That’s what Simon Court’s members bill would allow.
“The document talks a lot about a “just transition”. An actual just transition would be to share ETS revenues with New Zealanders to allow them to adapt. That’s what ACT’s carbon tax refund policy would do.
“This Government is only concerned about the appearance of environmental progress rather 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.”