ETS postponement costs 'understated'

Last updated 08:00 12/07/2012

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The real cost of changes to soften the impact of the emissions trading scheme have been severely understated, and could reach $1.3 billion, according to climate change lobby group the Sustainability Council.

Cabinet papers made public yesterday show the Government estimated the cost of the changes would be $328 million over the next three years, although when the changes were announced earlier this month Climate Change Minister Tim Groser and Prime Minister John Key highlighted the $80m a year cost.

However, Sustainability Council chief executive Simon Terry said the true cost was closer to $1.3b. "The Government has used a carbon price of $6 a tonne when estimating the costs of the changes," he said.

However, the Government had previously used $25 a tonne, which would push the cost up to $1.3b.

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