Saturday, April 14, 2007

From the latest New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development newsletter:

Overwhelming acceptance climate change is happening and action needed
The case for cap and trade
Special Sustainability Learning Group workshops
Welcome to a special edition of Sustain.
We thought you would appreciate an immediate update on the latest ShapeNZ polling on what New Zealanders think about climate change and policy options.
The Business Council has also published its submissions to Government on climate change policy options.
Overwhelming acceptance climate change is happening and action needed
While the International Panel on Climate Change's report at the weekend reignited the debate over whether or not it is happening, the latest ShapeNZ poll, taken April 4-7 shows new Zealanders have moved on. Seventy seven percent think climate change is a problem to be dealt with now or urgently.
Being published in The National Business Review today, the survey shows New Zealanders strongly support making emitters buy carbon credits, and rewarding those who cut their emissions with carbon credits.
They overwhelmingly back managing climate change with policies to insulate homes, fund research into alternative energy sources and cutting animal emissions. However, support starts to weaken for policies to impose new taxes, like putting up registration fees for cars with the largest engines. Read the media release on the poll and the more complete report.
The case for cap and trade
In its submissions to the Government on climate change policies, the Business Council says the most important message relating to climate change is that there'll be a price on carbon, and multi party support is needed on it. The Government is advised to introduce a scheme to cap and trade emissions - and make sure it does not keep any revenue it might raise from climate change policies but rather use it to support climate friendly changes or reduce taxation.
The Business Council for Sustainable also says:
Stable long term policy is needed to manage climate change and this should be achieved through cross-party agreement
A price needs to be placed on carbon and it should eventually apply to all sectors
Moves are needed to stop the emission problem expanding, and major emitters should face the full cost of the additional carbon they emit above 2006 levels
Emitters like the dairy industry, which does not yet have an emissions solution for methane, could be provided with credits for their 2007 level of emissions (produced at world's best practice levels) for say 10 years. This would expose the dairy sector, for example, to a price on carbon on additional output, but give it time to develop a solution for its methane problem (the largest emissions source in New Zealand)
Confer both carbon liabilities and credits on forest owners. This will be the most effective way decisions are made on future land use at the margin
Do not use any increased revenue from climate change to increase the overall tax burden. The introduction of GST in the 1980s came with major tax cuts, and climate change can be managed so any revenue is recycled into emission reduction research and incentives to take up low-emission technology.
The full submissions are available on our website.
Special Sustainability Learning Group workshops
A reminder that the first of 14 special workshops on implementing sustainable practices and benefiting your business is about to start next week. This special series is FREE to Business Council member companies as we have provided financial support for the programme as in past years.
The workshops are the best introductory course for organisations wanting to become more sustainable. They are practically focused and help share best practice across New Zealand organisations.
The half-day workshops will cover most aspects of sustainability including reporting, supply chain, stakeholder engagement, new market opportunities, risk assessment, ethics and assurance. Anyone may attend. A discount is available for individuals attending more than seven workshops and for organisations participating in the full learning group programme. For more information contact Whit, phone 027 433 6092; Lyn Mayes 021 471 261 or visit our website .
Please feel free to forward Sustain to your friends or colleagues.If you do not wish to receive Sustain, simply email us back and ask to be removed from the list. If you have received this from someone else, click here to subscribe.

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