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Cynical politics around emissions trading scheme

September 2, 2008

Cynical politics around emissions trading scheme

Politics has triumphed over sensible policy development around emissions trading, says Business NZ.

Commenting on recent political dealings around the Climate Change Bill, Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly says the Government appears to be more interested in electoral politics than continuing to work through the issue with business.

"The number of hasty back room deals we've seen with minor parties makes a mockery of the Government's stated desire to consult widely with business. No outside group's had the opportunity to give comment or advice - that's not just in business but the wider community too.

"It's just self-serving politics. The fact we've got literally hundreds of SOPs in the house right now is further evidence of a political circus."

Mr O'Reilly said the Government appears to want to rush ahead with the Climate Change Bill without taking any real account of what may happen with emissions trading in Australia and further afield.

"As a result, we fear the ensuing legislation could cause unnecessary damage, not only to New Zealand businesses but also to the communities they serve, without any real benefit to the environment or to climate change.

"Given the lack of real listening and these latest politically-driven changes, we don't think the scheme will work. So, no matter who's elected, they'll have to re -open this issue for further debate next year."

Mr O'Reilly says it's sad the Government has fundamentally rejected the opportunity to build consensus and commitment with business.

"It has been seen to act cynically and politically on the very issue -- climate change -- where the opportunity cried out for a different approach."


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