The country’s largest union is cautiously welcoming the Government’s announcement on the Kyoto protocols.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little, who represents thousands of workers potentially affected by the policy, said that the Government appeared to be taking a pragmatic, rather than ideological, approach.
“We are relieved to learn that climate change policy will be phased in, with companies being given time to demonstrate that they are working towards energy efficiency,” he said.
“A more hard-line approach could have cost thousands of jobs.”
Many EPMU members work in industries potentially affected by controls on air emisisons, including manufacturing, mining, wood processing and the steel industry.
“Our members have been very worried about whether the Government’s determination to lead the world in implementing the Kyoto protocols would cost them their jobs,” he said.
“The fact that the Government has listened to them and is moving more slowly will help to reassure them.”