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Smith Briefs Opposition Parties On Ets Bill

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Nick Smith
Nick Smith

Wellington, Sept 23 NZPA - Opposition MPs say the emissions trading scheme the Government will bring to Parliament tomorrow is a rush job that doesn't clearly state the cost to taxpayers if New Zealand doesn't meet its international obligations.

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith tonight briefed Labour and the Greens on the bill, which still isn't printed and won't be available until tomorrow morning.

Labour's Charles Chauvel and Green Party MP Jeanette Fitzsimons said they had been given a cost figure of $2 billion a year after 2030, but they agreed it was almost impossible to predict anything that far ahead.

Dr Smith told reporters there was solid cost estimates up to 2012 and less certain figures up to 2018 "and beyond that we're in never-never land".

He says that despite opposition criticism, the emissions trading scheme in the bill is the most comprehensive in the world.

The emissions trading scheme (ETS) will eventually limit greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy and those that exceed their limit will have to buy carbon credits from those who don't.

Labour passed an ETS before the last election but National put it on hold, saying it would cost the economy too much.

It has been reviewed and the new scheme is in the bill that will come up for its first reading tomorrow.

Ms Fitzsimons said it wouldn't endure after National loses office.

Labour and the Greens will oppose the bill but the Government has a deal with the Maori Party that will get it through its first reading.

It will be sent to a select committee which will have to report it back by mid-November because Dr Smith needs to get it into law by the end of the year.

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