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Nats-Labour-Green deal possible on Emissions Law

National-Labour-Green deal possible on emissions trading law

The National Government could have a majority for a revised emissions trading scheme without the Act Party, Carbon News reports this morning.

The specialist carbon market news service says both Labour and the Greens have privately told Climate Change Issues Minister Nick Smith that they are willing to work with him on a scheme.

Yesterday Labour made the offer public, saying that it didn’t want National to be forced to adopt Act Party policy in order to get a majority. Labour’s climate change spokesman, Charles Chauvel, told Carbon News that the offer is deadly serious.

“It’s serious and thought-through,” he said. “We had a talk in our caucus and think it’s got to the point were they (the Government) have got themselves so tied up and captive to one side that if we don’t offer to be the circuit-breaker we won’t have an ETS.”

Chauvel says that Labour is willing to acknowledge that, having won the November election, the National Party has a mandate to amend the ETS along the lines it outlined in its election campaign.

He says he has discussed the issue at length with former Climate Change Minister David Parker and has approached Smith.

“We have indicated our position to officials and to his staff, and Nick Smith asked David on Wednesday whether we are serious,” Chauvel said.

The Green Party has also made overtures to the Government. Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons told Carbon News that she has informally told Smith that she is willing to talk.

On Wednesday, Smith told an emissions trading and climate change policy summit in Wellington that an ETS remains National’s preferred position, but pointed out that it does not have a Parliamentary majority.

This morning a spokesman for Smith told Carbon News that the Government views climate change as a long-term issue and is willing to talk.

“If the offer is genuine, then the Government is willing to look at any offer,” he said.

ENDS

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