October 16, 2012
Cheap carbon credits undermine forest settlements
The Climate Change Iwi Leaders Group says the government’s approach to the emissions trading scheme undermines the value of treaty settlements involving forests.
Changes to the ETS are due to be reported back to parliament today.
In an open letter to Climate Change Minister Tim Groser, group chair Apirana Mahuika slammed the government’s refusal to stop New Zealand companies using cheap international carbon credits to offset their emissions, rather than buying New Zealand units.
A glut in European emission units has dragged the price of New Zealand Unites below $3.
When the scheme was launched in 2010, it was assumed the price would quickly rise above $20 a tonne.
Mr Mahuika says Maori-owned forests account for 30 percent of all New Zealand credits, but on current values they are only worth about $90 million.
He says the lap of an import cap will cost iwi interests between $210 and $510 million.