Submission: Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill

New Zealand Business Roundtable
1 February, 2008

We acknowledge the government’s need to take action in the light of international developments. We have long supported broad-based price measures as the most efficient means of reducing gross or net emissions, should the case for such action be demonstrated. Policies such as subsidies for renewable energy, ‘energy efficiency’ programmes, and ‘command and control’ regulations are economically inefficient (do more harm to the economy) relative to market-based instruments (emissions taxes or trading). We have also urged that actions by New Zealand should not put it ahead of other countries that are important to us for trade or other reasons. For the foreseeable future, this calls for sheltering competitive-at-risk activities from a price on carbon. Most of all we have called for a rigorous demonstration that the costs of any measures imposed on New Zealanders are commensurate with prospective benefits. Unless there is a broad consensus about the reasonableness of policies, they will not be politically sustainable.

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