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New Zealand gov't mulls break for importers of greenhouse gas-containing goods.

Wellington, May 14 (Xinhua-ANI): The New Zealand government announced Monday it was considering allowing importers of goods containing synthetic greenhouse gases to pay a levy rather than submit them to the country's fledgling emissions trading scheme ( ETS).

The proposals were welcomed by new car dealers and other importers who feared the ETS obligations would be too costly.

Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser announced said the proposed change excluded bulk importers of synthetic greenhouse gases who continue to have an obligation for emissions under the ETS.

"The ETS review panel, set up by the government in December 2010, found that importers of synthetic greenhouse gases in refrigerators, air conditioning units and electrical switchgear faced higher compliance costs than others sectors," Groser said in a statement.

"It recommended that the obligations under the ETS be removed for these participants and replaced with a levy," he said.

"The levy would be linked to the price of carbon to maintain an equivalent cost for emissions."

The proposed changes would help keep the compliance costs at a reasonable level, while ensuring the sector continued to do its fair share in reducing New Zealand's emissions, said Groser.

The Motor Industry Association (MIA) said it and other industry associations had made submissions to the ETS review panel, pointing out the proposed cost of compliance with the importation of small quantities of synthetic greenhouse gases, such as in automotive air conditioning units, would be as high as 50 percent of the actual cost of carbon payable under the ETS.

MIA chief executive officer Perry Kerr said in a statement that it was heartening to see the statement that the ETS obligations could be "replaced by a levy payable at the time of registering a vehicle."

"This was the preferred option put forward by the industry, being simple, transparent and one that would capture all vehicles, " he said.

Last month, the government controversially said it would submit New Zealand's greenhouse-gas heavy agriculture industry to the ETS only if the country's trading partners stepped up efforts to stave off climate change.

The government said it was proposing a provision for a maximum three-year postponement of the agriculture sector's inclusion, subject to a review in 2014. (Xinhua-ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:May 14, 2012
Words:383
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