29 Mar 2009

Businesses, not taxpayers, must pay for emissions - survey

2:25 pm on 29 March 2009

Most New Zealanders believe businesses, not taxpayers, should pay for their excess greenhouse gas emissions, a survey has found.

The survey of almost 3,000 people was commissioned by the Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The current emissions trading system requires taxpayers to pay for 90% of emissions by big polluters that are above 2005 levels. The 90% payment obligation applies between 2008 and 2012, after which taxpayer help will be cut by 8% a year until 2030.

Of those surveyed, 55% believe there should either be no assistance at all or it should be phased out by 2012. Among businesspeople, the figure is 80%.

The emissions trading scheme has the support of 42% of those surveyed, but is opposed by 28%.

An overwhelming majority believe climate change is happening and that swift action is needed.