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Govt slammed for ‘hollowing out’ ETS

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has slammed the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme Amendment Bill, describing it as ‘toothless’ and warning that it turns New Zealand’s climate change commitments into a farce, Grant Robertson Labour Environment Spokesperson says.

"Jan Wright is to be congratulated for telling the Government exactly what is wrong with its approach to climate change.

"The Bill before Parliament fundamentally undermines the Emissions Trading Scheme by continuing to subsidise polluters at the expense of taxpayers. There is now no plan to phase these subsidies out, and, as Ms Wright notes those same taxpayers are also footing the $300 million-plus cost of the Bill.

"The Emissions Trading Scheme was designed as an all sectors, all gases scheme that would use market mechanisms to help reduce our carbon emissions. By indefinitely delaying the entry of agriculture and continuing subsidies for polluters the government had, as the Commissioner points out, ‘hollowed out’ the scheme.

"As she says the approach of the Government is not only damaging to the environment it also undermines our clean, green brand that brings so much value to our economy, in particular for exporters."

"New Zealand has gone from being a leader on climate change, to being what John Key called a ‘fast follower’ to being a spectator.

"We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines over this - both for the good of our environment or a sustainable economy.

"The Government should ditch this Bill and get on with implementing the ETS," Grant Robertson said.

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