29 May 2010

Rural Women also urge ETS delay

4:24 pm on 29 May 2010

Rural Women New Zealand has added its voice to those calling on the Government to delay implementing the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Delegates at the organisation's national conference in Oamaru say the Government needs to more clearly assess the effects on New Zealand agriculture and rural communities before going ahead with the ETS.

Agriculture won't have to join the scheme until 2015, but all other sectors will be hit with increased fuel and power prices from 1 July, when the energy and manufacturing industries have to start paying for greenhouse gas emissions.

The latest call to shelve the scheme comes as the debate between the Government and critics of the ETS heats up over the likely costs.

Independent scrutiny sought

Federated Farmers is challenging the Government to submit its cost calculations to independent scrutiny after its ministers quoted different figures, all well below the federation's estimate, which puts the total cost for the whole country at $527 million in the first year.

The Government for its part has accused Federated Farmers and the ACT Party of inflating the figures.

ACT says its estimates are based on calculations by Meat & Wool New Zealand's Economic Service. The agency says it's standing by its figures, which have been carefully researched.