National reneges on climate change commitments
The Environmental Defence Society has expressed "profound dismay and disappointment" at National's confidence and supply agreement with ACT.
"ACT has done far better than expected out of the agreement. It is taking the government on an unexpectedly radical course on climate change policy," said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.
"National was very clear prior to the election about the limits of the changes it would make to the ETS. Essentially it was going to tweak the legislation to improve it. Now the ETS, which is already in place, is to be put on hold indefinitely pending a lengthy and very wide-ranging review which will review the science and contemplates either no scheme at all, an amended scheme or a carbon tax.
"This decision will throw emerging carbon markets into disarray and end up with a higher cost transition to the low carbon economy that is required. To go backwards now makes no sense. National already had ACT's commitment to support his government on confidence and supply.
"Mr Key's willingness to give in so easily to ACT on climate change is at odds with his pre-election position and brings into doubt whether he thinks climate change is indeed a very serious problem facing the planet or whether he really agrees with ACT - which says it's a hoax.
"ACT's position on climate change is radical, dangerous, contrary to good science and places New Zealand in a position where our international reputation will suffer. Frankly, New Zealand's ability to twist and turn on this most important environmental challenge will make us international laughing stocks.
"EDS was under the very clear impression that National's environment policies in government would be based on its Blue-Green Vision statement, its pre-election policies and would be moderate and progressive.
"The Coalition Agreement takes the new John Key government in potentially quite a different direction," Mr Taylor concluded.