20 Nov 2009

Federated Farmers U-turn on carbon tax

2:56 pm on 20 November 2009

In a reversal of its earlier stance, Federated Farmers is now suggesting that a carbon tax might be the lesser of two evils, as a mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith says New Zealand needs to stick with an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) because that's the option the rest of the world is adopting.

The Federation has called on the Government to repeal the legislation behind the ETS and to give up on efforts to amend it.

Farmers opposed the alternative option of a carbon tax when it was first mooted and campaigned against the suggestion of a tax to pay for research to reduce agricultural emissions.

But Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson says with the shambles surrounding the government's efforts to get a revised ETS in place, a low level carbon charge may not be such a bad idea after all.

He says the compliance around carbon tax is "close to zero", and in the end because of the mayhem over the ETS it might be better to have a low level carbon charge.