New government reports on the cost of New Zealand's proposed emissions trading scheme reveal it could cost NZ taxpayers a staggering $3,000 each, per year, if CO2 emissions are cut 40% relative to 1990 levels by 2020.
Even a 15% cut will cost ordinary New Zealanders $1,400 a year each, or around $7,000 a year for a family of five, in new fees, taxes and higher prices.
The figures, compiled by Infometrics, have been released this afternoon (Download NZIER Infometrics Report 26 July 2009) by Climate Change Minister Nick Smith:
“We’ve got significant decisions to make on New Zealand’s 2020 target and on emissions trading that will have major environmental and economic consequences for many years to come.
Key conclusions from the NZIER-Infometrics report on the macro-economic impacts of climate change policy are that:
Costs range from $600, $1000, $1400 to $3000 per capita per year for 2020 emissions targets ranging from +15%, 0%, -15% to -40% relative to 1990 levels
- Costs are significantly greater if there is no international trading
- Costs are reduced by between a third and half if there is consistent action by other countries
- New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product continues to grow under all options.
“We need to be upfront with New Zealanders that climate change poses real risks and that addressing it comes with costs that this report helps quantify," said Smith.
The Government reports make it clear that cutting CO2 emissions will come with a huge economic price tag, making it imperative, dare I be so bold, for people to get up to speed and read Air Con before these targets are locked and loaded.