To reduce carbon emissions, the New Zealand government recently decided to tax power generators and the industry from April 2007 for using coal, oil and gas. The tax of us $11 per metric tonne of carbon dioxide will be paid when companies buy the fuel, said Pete Hodgson, convener of the government's ministerial working group on climate change. The move will help New Zealand meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, the global treaty to fight climate change
The government is currently negotiating exemptions with the country's major industrial power users, including Comalco Limited's Tiwai Point aluminum smelter and Carter Holt Harvey Limited, and the country's biggest lumber processor. Hodgson said after allowing these exemptions, the tax is likely to fetch the government annual revenue of us $263.8 million. It will lead to a weekly increase of us $2.9 in the household cost of power and gasoline.