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Labour Criticises National Over ETS Process

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 9 NZPA - The release of official's advice on an emissions trading scheme (ETS) is a continuation of the Government's shonky management of the process, Labour's climate change spokesman Charles Chauvel said today.

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith today released hundreds of pages of documents covering the evolution of the Government's plan to change and moderate the ETS.

The previous government passed an ETS just before last year's election, but National put it on hold because it considered the cost to the economy would be too high.

It was revised and changes have been put into the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill.

The ETS seeks to limit emissions, which New Zealand is required to do under international agreements, by putting a price on carbon.

National was in talks with Labour to try to form a consensus, but these collapsed after National said it had done a deal with the Maori Party to send the bill to select committee.

Submissions on the bill close next week and Mr Chauvel said it appeared National had delayed the release of the papers as long as possible.

"From an initial reading of the documents it seems the deal with the Maori Party over amending the emissions trading scheme was verbal and done without any formal papers or advice from officials," Mr Chauvel said.

"Nick Smith however is dishing up process, short cuts and policy on the hoof while business is getting uncertainty and Kiwi taxpayers are going to foot the bill so large polluters can keep polluting."

Mr Chauvel said there had been no further talks between the two major parties.

The select committee will probably meet next week and has until November 16 to report back.

The Government is condensing the usual process so it can pass the law before a major climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.


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