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Parker Critical Of Delay In Emissions Scheme

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
David Parker
David Parker

Labour is accusing National of turning away job-rich investments by dithering over the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Incoming prime minister John Key yesterday indicated his new government was willing to consider supporting a carbon tax, which National has vigorously opposed in the past.

Meanwhile, the ETS is on hold and will be reviewed as a condition of National's support agreement with the ACT Party.

Outgoing climate change minister David Parker said last night National was going to drag the chain as long as possible.

"No other party in Parliament clings to the discredited belief that climate change is some vast conspiracy except ACT, yet National is letting this fringe, anti-environment party set the agenda on climate change," he said.

"The real cost of National's dithering and delay over climate change is the loss of investment and jobs in New Zealand."

Mr Key said in a speech to Federated Farmers the select committee which is to review the ETS would consider options for reforming it, including a carbon tax.

He said there was an argument that a carbon tax was more predictable and could be used until the ETS was worked out.

It might be a transitional mechanism, he said.

The ETS, passed by Parliament just before the election, is a comprehensive carbon trading scheme which caps emissions from different sectors over time.

Those that exceed their limit have to buy credits from those who are under their cap.

ACT wanted it scrapped completely and the compromise was that it would be reviewed.

Labour leader Phil Goff said Mr Key's comments about a carbon tax represented a policy reversal.

Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said a carbon tax was less complicated and her party had always supported it.

"You have to ask where they (National) were when it was on the table," she said.

"Maybe it's coming back on the table."

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