NZ’s largest union welcomes greenhouse agreement
New Zealand’s largest trade union has welcomed the first Negotiated Greenhouse Agreement (NGA) between the Crown and the New Zealand refining company which operates the Whangarei oil refinery.
NGAs are part of the government’s policies introduced last year as part of its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. NGAs allow some larger energy-intensive or carbon-emitting intensive businesses to agree on specific greenhouse gas emission reduction measures in exchange for relief from imposts such as the carbon charge which would otherwise make the business unviable.
“We are pleased that a business like the New Zealand refining company has been able to reach agreement with the government so that it is viable and preserves highly skilled jobs and important technology” Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) national secretary Andrew Little said today.
“In an economy as small as New Zealand’s and where in some cases single enterprises dominate whole industries the trade-off between constraining our carbon emissions and ensuring highly technological and advanced economic activity takes place is not always easy to achieve”, Mr Little said.
“The NGA process allows those businesses and jobs that would otherwise be at risk to take a balanced approach to the benefit of everyone”, Mr Little said.