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Public deeply split on carbon pricing

24 Aug 12

Public deeply split on carbon pricing
New Zealand farmers... 42.3% against carbon pricing, a surprising 55.3% neutral

Changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme have gone into Parliament as a new poll shows that New Zealanders are evenly split over whether we should even have a price on carbon.


Carbon News reports that Climate Change Minister Tim Groser introduced his Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to the House on August 23, 2012.


The bill indefinitely delays the entry of agriculture into the scheme and preserves current subsidies for emitters,including the two-for-one liability and the $25 cap on carbon prices, andsparked a fierce debate in Parliament.


Views ranging from the Greens and Labour (who say that the ETS is inadequate for dealing with climate change) through to New Zealand First (which thinks it should be replaced with a carbon tax) and Act’s John Banks, who seemed to be arguing that carbon pricing is ridiculous because there is no such thing as anthropogenic climate change.


But politicians are not the only ones who can’t agree over carbon pricing.


A HorizonPoll for Carbon News, which specialises in providing information for the emissions markets, shows that public opinion is deeply split over the issue.


The poll, of 2829 people aged 18-plus, was taken between July 5 and 16.


Results show that 28.2 per cent of respondents support carbon pricing, 28.7 per cent oppose it, 31.7 per cent are neutral on the issue, and 11.4 per cent don’t know.


Among business managers and executives 41.5 per cent oppose, 29.8 per cent support, 26.1 per cent are neutral and 2.5per cent are not sure.


Farmers, whose lobby group FederatedFarmers has been one of the most vocal opponents of the ETS, are surprisingly neutral on the issue. While just 2 per cent said they support carbon pricing and 42.3 per cent said they opposed it, 55.3 per cent described themselves as neutral.


The poll also analysed responses by party vote in the 2011 general election. Results show:


National: 20.7 per cent support carbon pricing, 37.4 per cent oppose and 33.7 per cent are neutral.

Labour: 37.8 per cent support, 17.8 percent oppose and 30.6 per cent are neutral.

Green: 54 per cent support, 16.2per cent oppose and 22.1 per cent are neutral.


Act: While 56.8 per cent of Act Party voters said they oppose carbon pricing, Banks might be surprised to learn that 40.7 per cent of respondents who supported the party in the last election also support carbon pricing.


For further information please contact

Adelia Hallett

Editor, Carbon News

Telephone: 09 431 6991



For further detailed research on this and other issues, please contact:

Graeme Colman


Horizon Research


Telephone: +64 21 84 85 76