The Kyoto Forestry Association (KFA) has congratulated Prime Minister Helen Clark, Forestry Minister Jim Anderton, Climate Change Minister David Parker and the Labour/Progressive Government on today’s announcement that owners of forests planted after 1 January 1990 will be able to opt into the emissions trading scheme, accruing both credits and associated liabilities.
“We are thrilled with this announcement,” KFA spokesman Roger Dickie said today.
“It indicates that the Labour/Progressive Government has listened carefully to our 30,000 supporters, the more than 2,800 people who attended consultation meetings in February and March and the more than 3,000 individuals and organisations who prepared submissions on the issue.
“It demonstrates to us that the Prime Minister and her Ministers have worked hard and in good faith on this issue and it gives us assurance about the integrity of the next round of consultation, noting that we believe we have a property right to these credits.
“Most importantly, the Government’s announcements will give people confidence to look more seriously at new forestry investment to reverse our current low levels of new plantings and reverse the trend towards deforestation.”
Mr Dickie noted with concern that the retrospective carbon tax on pre-1990 forests was still in place which creates a sovereign risk for the forestry industry in the future.
Acknowledging the strong political support KFA had received from across the political spectrum, Mr Dickie said: “We are also very grateful to the National, Maori, ACT and Green parties who have offered us support on the carbon credit issue.”
Mr Dickie announced that KFA’s billboard at Auckland International Airport would be taken down this afternoon.
He said any further comment on the details of today’s announcements would be made next week.