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Greens seek opinions from kiwis on ETS

21 August 2008

Greens seek opinions from kiwis on ETS

The Green Party is facing a difficult decision over whether to lend its support to the Emissions Trading Scheme.

"At the beginning of this process we said we wanted to be as open about these negotiations as we could be and now we have reached a point where the Green Party caucus has to make a decision about this next Tuesday and we would like some feedback from New Zealanders before we do," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"We set out to achieve a number of things, such as including transport and agriculture into the scheme earlier, a fund to insulate homes to keep power bills down, targets for emissions reduction and support for new innovations that officer significant carbon reduction.

"What really mattered about this scheme was that is was fair to New Zealanders and effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Throughout the negotiation process we have kept this at the forefront of our minds. If we don't get these things right, the huge wealth transfers that the ETS creates will be both unfair and ineffectual.

"On some of the issues we have not been able to make progress. We have not been able to get agreement to phase in transport instead it will come in in one lump in 2011, so this has not changed. We have made very little progress on agriculture but we are still talking about this. Very importantly we have not found a way for Government to accept a biodiversity standard to ensure that planting pines does not destroy biodiversity.

"On the other hand, it appears there will be substantial financial assistance to help people make their houses warm and dry. We have also made good progress on ensuring that the ETS does not lock our economy into old technology and that there is room for innovation. There will be better rules about allocation plans.

"We are now keen to hear from New Zealanders any views they have before we make our decision on Tuesday."

ENDS

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