New Zealand Labour Party

Overseas carbon credits scam caused by National

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett needs to fix the damage her Government has wreacked on the Emissions Training Scheme outlined in the Morgan Foundation’s damning "Climate Cheats" report released today, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker.

“National cannot blame anyone else. National chose not to restrict ‘hot air’ carbon units from overseas swamping the ETS. National chose to put a cap on the price of carbon but no floor. National chose to exclude agriculture.

“The price collapse to close to zero was caused by National. It made a mockery of the ETS. This stopped the ETS reducing emissions, to the detriment of our environment. It also harmed our economy by undermining our forest planters and caused the dairy bubble to get bigger before it burst.

“Labour was been calling on the Government to close down overseas trading in 'hot air' carbon credits from the likes of the Ukraine since 2012. National knew there was a problem, caused in part by the lack of a successor agreement to Kyoto, but wilfully refused to fix it.

“The report finds it was ‘virtually impossible’ for the Government not to be at least aware that there was a serious integrity problem with many of these overseas credits.

“It cites the evidence that New Zealand was by far the biggest consumer of fraudulent foreign carbon credits from Ukraine. While our involvement in this scam was known to those that understood the ETS, this report exposes the full extent of the sham and the consequences.

“As the latest Listener article makes clear, the ETS architecture is sound. It can easily be restored to work by including agriculture (as recommended by the last review panel), and by stopping the entry of bogus units that don't represent reputable emissions reductions,” says David Parker.