17 June 2008

Environment Commissioner supports amended ETS bill

New Zealand must implement an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), says Dr Jan Wright, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. "It's the most efficient way for New Zealand to adjust to a carbon-constrained future."

An independent Officer of Parliament, Dr Wright acted as an adviser to the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the ETS. "I believe that the ETS bill should proceed without further delay," advised Dr Wright.

Like many concerned with the future of climate change legislation, Dr. Wright stressed, "The principle at the core of the ETS is 'polluter pays'. If the polluter doesn't pay, the taxpayer will. Please do not let the scheme unravel further."

"Putting a price on carbon is an essential tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions," says Dr Wright. "A price on carbon puts the cost of emitting greenhouse gases directly into every monetary transaction. For example, in the future, low carbon goods and services will become relatively cheaper; high carbon goods and services will become relatively more expensive."

Dr Wright concluded her advice by saying, "The important thing now is to get the framework in place".