July 30, 2014
Cheap carbon costs customers and iwi dearly
The Iwi Leaders Forum is accusing the Government of letting power companies gouge customers by gaming the emissions trading scheme.
Spokesperson Apirana Mahuika says its analysis shows that since the inception of the scheme energy and liquid fuels companies have charged consumers at an average rate of $14 per tonne for the carbon credits they must purchase to offset their pollution.
The market price is less than $3, because of the mainly eastern European carbon credits that have flooded into the New Zealand market.
Mr Mahuika, who chairs the Iwi Leadership Group for Climate Change, says the Government allowed the dubious credits come in so it could prop up the value of state assets like Genesis Energy before selling them off.
That broke a promise to iwi that the carbon credits they received as part of Treaty settlements would hold their value, costing iwi more than $600 million.
The Iwi leader's forum put forward a proposal to plant 100,000 hectares of new forests a year for 10 years, creating 50,000 new and permanent jobs in the regions, attracting $800 million of foreign direct investment, and allowing New Zealand to meet its international emission reduction obligations.
Mr Mahuika says Prime Minister John Key rejected the proposal arguing it would add $500 per household in increased energy costs.
Treasury put the cost to households at only $21 a year.
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