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Bill rips heart out of Emissions Trading Scheme

8 November 2012

Bill rips heart out of Emissions Trading Scheme

Polluters can now relax in the knowledge they won’t have to reduce their carbon emissions and the taxpayer will continue to pick up the bill, Green Party climate change spokesperson Kennedy Graham said today.

The National Government’s Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment, which maintains subsidies for polluters and defers inclusion of agriculture indefinitely, passed this afternoon.

“This government had the chance to make a lasting contribution to ensure New Zealand did its fair share on climate change, instead it did the opposite and has bequeathed the next generation a mess to clean up and handed the taxpayer the bill,” Dr Graham said.

“The ETS was already weak but it’s now pointless. With the bare minimum of votes the Government has gutted the ETS and done nothing to protect the future for our children.

“The National Government says the bill is a balancing act. It has a point - New Zealand’s clean green reputation is teetering on the edge and the impact on the economy will be felt when it falls.

“The costs of pollution are loaded onto the shoulders of taxpayers and the National Government is doing nothing to incentivise clean technologies.

“To add insult to injury the National Government broke an election promise that any changes to the ETS would be fiscally neutral as these will cost between $100m and $300m.

“The National Government has also failed to announce new binding commitments to reduce carbon emissions one the Kyoto period finishes at the end of the year.

“The Government’s sole remaining policy will be its target of 15 percent in reductions for 2020, and of 50 percent by 2050, but, It has no plan to achieve those.”

ENDS

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