Stop Trying to Mislead Us on the ETS Dr Smith

John Boscawen MP, ACT New Zealand
Press Release 
Friday, April 16 2010.ACT Climate Change spokesperson John Boscawen today called on Climate Change Issues Minister Hon Dr Nick Smith to stop misleading the public over the costs of his Emissions Trading Scheme.


"Earlier today Nick Smith said that ‘New Zealand would face a deficit of 22 million tonnes, or $446 million without the ETS’.  This is misleading.  Unlike the very real costs that will be imposed on all New Zealanders due to the ETS from July 1, the $446 million figure is purely hypothetical," Mr Boscawen said.

"Dr Smith’s calculations factor in the cost to the Government when foresters fell their post -1990 trees after 2012.  However, this cost is illusionary.  Given that no successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol has or is likely to be agreed to, from 2013 there simply will not be any obligations for New Zealand to meet. 

"Moreover, in any event, the international political reality is that any obligation that does eventuate would not be enforced; as evidenced by Canada’s recent refusal to pay any shortfall it might theoretically be liable for.

"Nick Smith should not be using theoretical costs that he knows are highly unlikely to eventuate and would not be enforced even if they did to justify the very real costs he is imposing on New Zealanders.  We deserve better.

"The reality is, that come July 1, all New Zealanders will be faced with a five percent increase in electricity prices and a four cents per litre increase in petrol prices.  These are real costs that ordinary New Zealanders will have to pay solely because of the ETS.  By contrast Dr Smith’s $446 million is a purely theoretical figure that in all likelihood will not eventuate.

"Contrary to Dr Smith’s assertions the ETS is not saving New Zealanders any money at all.

"Dr Smith is doing New Zealanders a disservice by trying to confuse this important debate further with statements such as the one today.  I call on him to stick to the real costs and to spend his time justifying to ordinary New Zealanders why their electricity and energy costs are about to increase needlessly, rather than to issue meaningless press releases like the one today," Mr Boscawen said.