ETS will encourage New Zealand forestry

treeThere has been a great deal of debate over New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in recent months, with the controversy hotting up particularly over the last few days.

Federated Farmers and the ACT party are in strenuous opposition to the Scheme, which they say will cost farmers (and New Zealanders as a whole) too much.  Government, on the other hand, says that the costs are not as high as presented, and that there is general agreement that New Zealand needs to do its part to fight climate change.

Recent stories:

Dominion Post: ETS price fears stir up grassroots Nats

National Business Review: Govt keeping open mind on agriculture ETS inclusion

Radio NZ: Parties at odds over ETS cost to rural sector

TVNZ/One News: ETS here to stay, says Key

Associate Professor Euan Mason, of the School of Forestry at the University of Canterbury, comments on the ETS from the perspective of its effect on forestry:

“There are signs of a tentative beginning in investment in carbon forests in New Zealand; forests that would not be there without the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).  These forests will help to reduce New Zealand’s net greenhouse gas emissions in future.  Forestry investment is a long term endeavour which the the Government’s consistency on the ETS will help to nurture.

“It is also significant that in many localities, particularly in hill country areas where farming alone is not very profitable, carefully chosen areas established in forest could greatly improve the profitability of farms. The benefits of forestry to owners of those farms are markedly enhanced by the ETS, but only so long as there is some certainty about retention of New Zealand’s ETS legislation.”