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Government’s Climate Change Stance Not A Good Look

Energy and Climate Change Spokesperson
23 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Government’s Climate Change Stance Not A Good Look

A Bill having its first reading in the House today confirms the Government has zero commitment to curbing New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey says.

“As far as a ‘response’ goes, The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill is clearly a two-fingered one which continues to undermine our international reputation.

“Agriculture continues to be excluded from the scheme, which makes it pretty clear National has no intention of ever starting to transition the sector into the ETS. The ETS was designed as an 'all gases all sectors' scheme. It simply cannot function without our single largest emitting sector.

“Three years ago John Key was firm in his assertion that introducing agriculture to the ETS was non-negotiable. In 2009 he told farmers that without a responsible ETS and a focus on sustainability, ‘The consumers of the world will not buy your products.’ He went on to say that ‘as a trading nation, we simply cannot afford to get it wrong’.

“It is completely unacceptable, too, that instead of the usual six months the Government has allowed less than two months for the bill to be considered by the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.

“Because the Government is on such a tight timeframe to pass this bill we risk not giving the changes the careful consideration they need. Rushed law is bad law, and it's the Government’s own incompetence that has resulted in the House now having to ram this bill through.

“John Key has admitted he doesn’t want New Zealand to be a ‘leader’ on climate change, but rather a ‘fast follower’.

“Mr Key obviously hasn’t got his definition of ‘fast’ from the Shorter Oxford. The Government’s proposed amendments to the ETS confirm that New Zealand could now best be described as an ‘apathetic bystander’.

“People are already questioning how clean and green New Zealand really is. National’s ever-changing position adds to that concern, and to regulatory uncertainty.

“Reputations are hard won and easily lost. If the National Government really values our clean green reputation then it needs to do more than simply paying lip service to it,” said Moana Mackey


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