13 Oct 2008

Call to relax emissions deadlines

5:58 pm on 13 October 2008

Business New Zealand says the global financial crisis means greenhouse gas emission targets should be relaxed.

The Emissions Trading Scheme requires greenhouse gas emitters such as factories and power stations to buy credits, mainly overseas, to offset their own emissions.

Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly says companies are already under a lot of pressure, and now is not the time to be hitting them with additional costs.

He says whoever forms the next government should consider altering the deadlines set under the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Mr O'Reilly says most New Zealand businesses affected by emissions trading are already deeply concerned about the impact of the scheme.

However, environmental group Greenpeace says delays because of the financial crisis would be shortsighted.

Crisis may benefit NZ - trader

A Wellington commodities trader believes the economic crisis will make it easier for New Zealand to meet its international climate change obligations.

Nigel Brunel buys and sells credits for OM Financial and says the price of emissions credits is falling on European carbon markets.

He says price of commodities such as copper and oil have fallen markedly, and carbon is a commodity like any other.

Mr Brunel says carbon prices in Europe have dropped about five euros ($NZ11) in the past month, though this gain is partly offset by a falling New Zealand dollar.