Sunday Star Times: NZ too slow on ETS uptake

The Sunday Star Times’ Rod Oram writes about New Zealand business’ approach to the Emissions Trading Scheme, and the fact that it is significantly slower than those of our international counterparts.  In particular, he compares the situation in New Zealand with that in Australia.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The tone was set early on by the two countries’ climate change ministers. Australian government studies show that countries that act soon, reduce their long-term costs. They are the most competitive in a low carbon world, said Penny Wong, the Australian minister.

“Australia intends to play an influential role in the run-up to the global climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December and at the forum itself. While these strong words were clearly designed to help the government force opposition politicians into approving the Australian emissions trading legislation before Copenhagen, there was no doubting the government’s commitment to ensuring Australia would benefit economically and environmentally from this revolution.

“In contrast, Nick Smith, New Zealand’s climate change and environment minister, offered a much more limited economic and political ambition.

“His comments, such as the need to recalibrate the ETS in light of the recession and the unrealistic timetables for bringing sectors into the ETS, left the strong impression that the New Zealand government was planning to water down an already weak ETS once the select committee reports.”