24 Oct 2012

Foresters urge limit on foreign carbon credits

6:27 am on 24 October 2012

A group of forest owners is accusing Prime Minister John Key of breaking an election promise to encourage more tree planting.

The Kyoto Forest Owners Assocation says in 2007, Mr Key promised to encourage climate-friendly policies such as forestry by providing incentives for more tree planting and less cutting.

But association spokesperson Roger Dickie says under the Emissions Trading Scheme, the Government is allowing the sale of cheap foreign carbon credits, which is undercutting the price of credits produced by New Zealand foresters.

"The only thing they need to do is what everybody else with an emissions trading scheme is doing, and that is reducing the number of these dodgy, cheap carbon credits from eastern Europe ... that are allowed into our emissions trading scheme. Everyone else is doing it, why it this Government not doing it?"

Mr Dickie says the availability of cheap carbon credits is leading to deforestation rather than more planting.