EcoSecurities Group, one of the largest players in the international carbon market, has shelved plans to set up shop in New Zealand, following the National/Act agreement to review not just the details of the emissions trading scheme but whether to proceed with one at all.
It had planned to launch the business, in conjunction with Simon Young and his company the Karo Group, this week.
It would have been both a buyer of forest sink credits and a seller of secondary CERs, which are high-quality carbon credits generated by United Nations-approved climate-friendly projects in developing countries.
EcoSecurities had amassed a portfolio of 418 such projects which should generate emissions reductions of 118 million tonnes by 2012, associate director and corporate counsel Greg Fahey said.
"To have come down here to launch a business and then to have to report to our directors that actually they are revisiting the science on climate change really doesn't help perceptions of New Zealand," Fahey said.
"Speaking as a New Zealander, but from an international standpoint, this surprising move could seriously affect our standing in the international debate on climate change. We have gone from what could have been an extremely positive position in 2009, when there will be a lot of spotlight on the issue, and having some influence, to the complete opposite."
However, EcoSecurities remained optimistic an informed debate would see the Government follow through with a scheme not dissimilar to the current one.