Auckland

1 August 2011 – New Zealand has released a report on its Emissions Trading Scheme and it shows a strong upswing in support from businesses since the scheme was introduced two years ago.

Highlights from the report include that 68 per cent of business submissions to the report  support the scheme, in contrast to 78 per cent of business submissions opposed the scheme two years ago.

Other highlights include a surge in investment in renewable energy, including geothermal and wind and hydro and a leap in forest area.

Australia’s Climate Institute has seized on the findings and said it proved that the fear of carbon pricing ebbs away after its introduction.

“What this report clearly demonstrates is that support for carbon pricing grows once it is experienced in action,” chief executive officer of the Climate Institute John Connor said.

“Most in business [in New Zealand] have turned around their opposition and some are grasping the low carbon opportunities to invest, create jobs and create profits while cutting pollution,” Mr Connor said.

“Most in business have turned around their opposition and some are grasping the low carbon opportunities to invest, create jobs and create profits while cutting pollution.

“The gloom and doom predictions have begun to melt away,” Mr Connor said.

He said the report was further proof that pricing carbon can benefit the economy and the environment.

The report had good news on renewable energy with a surge in approvals for renewable power stations and a full stop on fossil fuel based power, Mr Connor said.

It pointed to 11 new power stations approved in the first year of the ETS, with potential to produce 1340 megawatts of energy, 59 per cent wind, 26 per cent geothermal, 13 per cent hydro and two per cent tidal.

Forested area has grown from 500 hectares in 2009, to 4700 in 2010 and forest survey intentions indicate 5700 hectares this year and 7700 hectares in 2012.

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