The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.
“The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS proves that there is an ongoing disengagement by the forestry industry in the carbon market.
“In 2014 almost no new trees were planted under the ETS and 250 forestry companies left the scheme.
“The sector’s failure to engage with the ETS means that not enough trees are being planted to offset future emissions.
“To make matters, worse cutting down our forests has added to our emissions. While industrial processes like aluminium smelters produced 3 million tonnes of carbon, deforestation added over 10 million tonnes.
“The Government’s repeated changes to the ETS are at the heart of this exodus from forestry. The settings for the ETS have to be right and there needs to be certainty in order to encourage industry and drive plantings to ensure long-term success.
“This is yet another demonstration of National’s backwards approach to climate change. It shows that with their weak targets they still won’t commit to long-term emissions reductions,” says Megan Woods.