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Key cornered on different ETS stories

30 Oct 2008

Key cornered on different ETS stories

John Key's attempts to evade discussing his party's position on the Emissions Trading Scheme came to an abrupt end today when he was cornered by Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons in a Paraparaumu mall.

"The Green Party has become increasingly concerned that National's messages on the Emissions Trading Scheme differ substantially for every audience they speak to," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"John did not respond to my offer back in June to share with New Zealand how National would change the current ETS, nor was he prepared to debate with me and other leaders on TV, so I felt my best option was to corner him in Paraparaumu today.

"I questioned John on why National's members and candidates are telling farmers one thing on the ETS but John is telling the rest of New Zealand another.

"While National's ETS policy states: 'A well-considered carefully balanced ETS is the best tool available to efficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the economy', National candidate Chris Tremain told a meeting at Wairoa that National would reassess what obligation agriculture should carry under the ETS.

"Of further concern, is Otago candidate, Jacqui Dean telling audiences that National will not include agricultural emissions in the ETS at all, but will make other taxpayers foot the bill instead - despite National's minority select committee report on the ETS stating 'National does not believe the agricultural sector can or should be excluded from this bill, as it is such a large contributor to New Zealand's emissions'.

"At the Hawke's Bay A&P Show last week, National party activists said that National was even considering going as far as withdrawing from Kyoto, which even Australia has joined and the US is highly likely to.

"I am pleased to hear today that National is committed to the Kyoto Protocol but I am still concerned that farmers may be getting an even softer ride under the ETS than they were under the current legislation.

"It is crucial parties and the public know what alternative proposals National has to meet that challenge, and who has the correct version of the ETS according to Key," Ms Fitzsimons says.

ENDS

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