Relying on foreign credits dangerous, say officials

(Carbon News article, 9 February 2017)

NEW ZEALAND cannot rely on international carbon credits to meet its emissions reductions targets after 2030, officials have told the Government, warning that credits could be expensive and in short supply.

Up to 80 per cent of New Zealand’s target to cut emissions by 11.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030 is expected to be met through the purchase of international credits. But in a confidential briefing paper to climate minister Paula Bennett last May, officials said that the strategy was risky.  “New Zealand will need to rely on domestic forestry and international offsets to meet its 2030 target,” the paper's appendice says.  “After 2030, continuing to rely predominantly on domestic forestry and international offsets presents risks. It may mean missing opportunities as key trading partners reduce domestic emissions and New Zealand businesses and households invest without clear signals about future policy direction.”

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