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ETS Talks On Cards For Next Week

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 4 NZPA - Talks between National and Labour over an emissions trading scheme (ETS) could happen as early as next week.

The previous Labour government put an ETS into law, but when National won the election it put it on hold, saying the economic costs were too high.

A special cross-party select committee reviewed it but Labour have not agreed to support new legislation.

Labour leader Phil Goff said Environment Minister Nick Smith wrote to him indicating the government wanted to reopen negotiations.

"Labour is of course prepared to do that," he told Radio New Zealand.

"I would like to see negotiations resume as quickly as possible that's probably as early as the beginning of next week."

Talks would be between Dr Smith and Labour environment spokesman Charles Chauvel, Mr Goff said.

United Future leader Peter Dunne who chaired the committee said the key to success for an ETS was long-term commitment from both major parties.

Labour had supported 32 of the 34 committee recommendations.

Areas of difference were around timing of entry of agriculture and intensity based approach or not.

"There is room for negotiation and compromise."

Mr Goff said Labour was happy to compromise "around the edges".

"Clearly what Labour would want is a scheme as close as possible to the existing emissions trading scheme that was legislated for last year."

Prime Minister John Key said he was open to meeting with Labour when talks progressed.

"Look, ultimately if there was a grand coalition on this particular issue of course there'd be a meeting and I think there'd be some points we'd need to haggle over before final agreement was reached."

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