Jun 25, 2008

Fran Points to BCSD Report's Flaws And Describes It As A Desperate Tactic

Fran O'Sullivan has a look at yesterday's release from the Business Council for Sustainable Development. She reports also on discontent within the Council's membership about the report and looks at its credibility

But before MPs rush to endorse the council's headline claim that $12.3 billion in investment and more than 9600 new jobs will be prompted by emissions trading, they should look at the disclaimers within Sinclair Knight Merz's underlying report. Particularly the statement that it accepts "no liability or responsibility whatsoever for, or, in respect of any use or reliance upon this report by any third party".
This report was cobbled together in a mere seven days (an "extremely short timeframe", according to SKM) which the consultancy says precluded any "robust analysis or even comprehensive review of available information".

Who funded the report?

Two Government owned SOEs

The SKM report has been underwritten by the council's special project fund and two of its members - Mighty River Power and Meridian Energy.
The two state-owned power generators are in the vanguard of the drive to increase New Zealand's move towards generating electricity from renewable sources.
Both companies are leaders in their fields and will be major winners from the emissions trading scheme: Meridian - which advised the select committee its valuation will increase by $750 million - is promoting electric cars to bring about the move to greater dependence on renewable electricity sources.
The lobbying over the legislation will get more fraught as the business sector renews calls (these could emerge as early as today) for the legislation to be sent back to the select committee with a supplementary order paper containing the main changes that the Government wants Parliament to consider.
Finance and expenditure committee chairman Charles Chauvel should then call for further submissions and ensure that much more time is allowed than the mere16 hours of deliberations first time round.
This would also enable the council to ensure that more detailed analysis by SKM could be taken into account instead of the rather desperate tactics being played out this week.