31 Oct 2009

Doctors criticise Emissions Trading Scheme

10:32 pm on 31 October 2009

A group of public health doctors says changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme will sabotage the economy and worsen health outcomes.

The Government's intended amendments to the scheme are being considered by a Select Committee which will report back in mid-November.

In a New Zealand Medical Journal editorial, the Climate and Health Group, Ora Taiao, argues the changes will undermine the attempt to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stall climate change.

The article's lead author, Jamie Hosking of Auckland University, says the Government is wrong to spend $754 million subsidising high-emitting industries.

"Runaway climate change has been described as the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. If we're subsidising emissions like this, then it's not going to be effective in avoiding the major health threats we're going to face from it."

Mr Hosking says the money spent on subsidies for industry should instead be spent on district health boards and other public services.