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ETS crumbles as 'grand coalition' forms

ETS crumbles as 'grand coalition' forms

The 'grand coalition' of Labour and National is already forming over the Emissions Trading Scheme, as predicted by the Green Party earlier this week.

National has demanded the ban on new thermal generation be abandoned, as the price of its support.

"As it happens, the legislation as it is drafted allows every possible type of thermal power station still to be built under one of the exemption clauses. But it adds inconvenience to industry with the need to seek permission," Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"The Green Party supports a ban on new fossil fuel-based power stations as there is clear evidence that it will not be costly or threaten security of supply. But it should be a real ban, not one hedged around with exemptions that cover everything anyone might want to do.

"I am sure Labour will cave in to National's conditions, just as they have to every other lobby group and organisation seeking concessions and handouts at the expense of households and families who will be picking up their pollution tab.

"The ETS is rapidly becoming a race to the bottom.

"It is obvious by now that the scheme will make little difference to our greenhouse emissions. Evidence presented to the select committee suggests the ETS will reduce emissions by less than two percent. We would achieve more than that just by funding the Energy Efficiency Strategy fully," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"Further evidence showed that 90 percent of the scheme's cost over the five year Kyoto period would be borne by households, small business and transport, because farming and large business will be sheltered.

"The Green Party has not decided its final position on the Bill and will wait until the final form goes back to the House. But we are increasingly concerned that the main benefits will be to carbon speculators and those who set up trading platforms and clip the ticket every time a trade is made.

"The Labour Government needs to work up some political courage and do what everyone knows needs to be done. Drought, floods and rising sea levels aren't going to go away because vested interests don't feel like paying their own pollution costs."

ENDS

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