4 Nov 2012

Changes to ETS threaten public health - NZ doctors

6:58 pm on 4 November 2012

A group of doctors concerned about the effects of climate change says the country's health is being put at risk by Government plans to water down the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Proposed alterations to the scheme to be debated in Parliament this week include keeping agriculture out of the scheme indefinitely and allowing polluters to import unlimited foreign carbon credits.

The New Zealand Climate and Health Council says climate change threatens people's health by increasing the risk of superstorms like giant storm Sandy that hit the US last week, changing patterns of tropical disease and ultimately threatening food and water supplies.

The council says the proposed changes will make the ETS useless and fly in the face of polls it says show most New Zealanders want action on climate change.

However, Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says the argument that public health is being put at risk by changes to the ETS is ridiculous.

Mr Groser says New Zealand is doing just as much to fight climate change as any other nation.

He says green groups like the council will never accept the Government's position that this country should not be leading the world in climate change policies.