Following on from yesterday’s post on the New Zealand ETS that, according to PM John Key, is “working”, The Australian today reports that our neighbour across the ditch is actually scaling back its ETS in the face of economic pressures. Julia didn’t mention that, did she?
AS Julia Gillard urged Australia to follow the “gutsy Kiwi” lead on carbon pricing, Prime Minister John Key has declared New Zealand will be slowing its expansion of emissions trading and doesn’t want to “lead the world”.
Mr Key refused to offer advice to Australian politicians embroiled in the carbon tax debate and signed an agreement with the Australian Prime Minister for a joint working party on trans-Tasman carbon emissions trading.
But he warned that New Zealand would be delaying the inclusion of agricultural emissions in its system for at least four years and was unlikely to double the carbon price from 2013, as previously planned, because of pressure on consumers.
Earlier, Mr Key said in an interview with The Australian his government was reviewing the ETS he inherited from the former Labour government and there would be changes to the “quite expensive system”.
Mr Key said the New Zealand system, which prices carbon at $NZ12.50 ($9.55) a tonne and includes all gases and emitters, was costing consumers about $NZ150 a year but the price was due to double to $NZ25 a tonne from 2013 and include agriculture, which accounts for 50 per cent of New Zealand’s emissions.
Mr Key told The Australian the review would mean “the government is likely to move a bit more slowly because of the global financial crisis and other countries are moving more slowly”. (source)
So NZ is actually taking notice of the fact that the other major emitters are doing nothing, and responding appropriately. How refreshing. Just as the Kiwis sensibly don’t want to “lead the world”, neither should Australia.