New Zealand introduced legislation Tuesday to ban
new power plants that burn fossil fuels for a decade,
winning plaudits from environmental activists.
The bill introduced to Parliament also proposes
an emissions trading scheme for reducing greenhouse
New thermal electricity generation above 10 megawatts
whose fuel source is more than 20 percent oil, coal
or gas, would be banned under the 10-year plan,
Climate Change Minister David Parker said.
Already 65 percent of the nation's electricity
is generated from renewable resources, mainly hydroelectric
plants. Wind, geothermal power and other renewable
fuel sources will be key for future electricity
generation, Parker said in a statement.
Greenpeace immediately congratulated New Zealand
for "leading the way on renewable electricity."
"This is unprecedented internationally," said
Greenpeace climate campaigner Susannah Bailey. "The
ban sends a clear message to power generators that
fossil fuels have no part to play in New Zealand's
Parker, who is also energy minister, said some
exemptions would apply: The fuel source can contain
more than 20 percent fossil fuels if the remainder
is made up of waste, when the needs of isolated
communities are "most logically" met by thermal
generation, or in time of emergency. He did not
The emissions trading part of the legislation would
establish New Zealand emission units, linked to
Kyoto emission units for transfer to offshore buyers.
The scheme would apply to the forestry sector from
January 2008, transport fuels from 2009, industry
from 2010 and the agriculture and waste sectors
In early October, Prime Minister Helen Clark unveiled
an ambitious plan to halve transport greenhouse
gas emissions by 2040 and generate 90 percent of
New Zealand's electricity supply from non-carbon
renewable resources by 2025.
The Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable
Preference) Bill must pass through four debating
stages in Parliament, plus a study by a Select Committee,
before it can become law.