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Time for common sense on climate change

Energy and Climate Change Spokesperson
24 October 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Time for common sense on climate change

The Maori Party and Peter Dunne are to be commended for coming to their senses and reconsidering their support for the Government's amendments to the Emissions Trading Scheme, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey says.

"The Government is intent on ramming through a piece of legislation which has enormous implications for our economy and our environment. Now that the second reading of the Bill has been delayed it's time for the Government to sit down and properly engage with political parties and affected stakeholders.

"Of particular concern is the impact this legislation will have on New Zealand's carbon forestry sector. It restricts the market for forestry units by excluding agriculture and extending two for one surrender subsidies indefinitely. At the same time it does nothing to restrict the importation of cheap international units - units which are being restricted in all other schemes around the world.

"For months now Labour has been calling on the Government to listen to the forestry sector, whose open letter to the Prime Minister expressed huge concern at the Government’s climate change policy and the implications it has for them.

“On this basis Labour is seeking support for an SOP in my name which will require 50 per cent of units surrendered in New Zealand to be domestically sourced - the same approach taken in the Australian and European schemes.

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"There is no credible reason for not supporting this - especially if the Government wants to link to those schemes in the future.

"In just the last few days the carbon price has further collapsed with the European carbon price slumping to around NZ$1.30.

“How bad does it have to get before Tim Groser and his National Government colleagues listen to the growing chorus of voices calling on him to act - voices which now include the Maori Party and Peter Dunne,” said Moana Mackey.


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