Solid Energy's ETS funding under fire

NEW Zealand coal producer Solid Energy has come under criticism for its funding contributions to a report analysing the economic impacts of the nation’s proposed emissions trading scheme.
Solid Energy's ETS funding under fire Solid Energy's ETS funding under fire Solid Energy's ETS funding under fire Solid Energy's ETS funding under fire Solid Energy's ETS funding under fire

Coal ship arriving at Port of Lyttelton. Courtesy Solid Energy.

Blair Price

An Official Information Act request from the Dominion Post newspaper forced Solid Energy to release details of its funding towards the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research’s ETS report.

In a statement released yesterday, Solid said it was asked by the NZIER early last year to contribute and chipped in $NZ214,000-$1.3 million towards the cost of research undertaken in the report and related projects.

Of this amount, Solid said around $240,000 went to two NZIER projects conducted over the past three years.

However, the company said the opinions expressed in the ETS report were entirely from the NZIER.

In a report today from the Dominion Post, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said the funding was effectively taxpayer money as it would have come back to the government though Solid’s dividend.

She said Solid’s funding was inappropriate and could have “coloured” the findings of the report.

Key findings from the report show the ETS will reduce average wages by $NZ90 a week and cost households about $NZ3000 a year by 2025.

Solid produces about 4 million tonnes of coal per year, mainly for steel producers.

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