25 November, 2009
Balanced new law important step on climate change
The Government's Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today with the support of the Maori and United Future parties.
"This law delivers for New Zealand a workable and affordable scheme that will encourage emission reductions and afforestation," Minister for Climate Change Issues Nick Smith says. "It is an important first step for New Zealand in doing our fair share on climate change after 15 years of debate.
"We have revised the scheme start up to take into account the recession as we do not wish to snuff out the fragile recovery. Power and petrol price increases are halved for households and businesses during the transitional phase.
"This law is about the National Government delivering on its election promises. We said we would legislate and implement a carefully balanced, all sectors, all gases ETS. We said we would take an emissions intensity approach. We said we would align our ETS more closely with Australia. We said we would not pocket billions of dollars from hardworking New Zealanders. We said we would not discriminate against small business, and we said we would align the phase-out of industry support with our trade competitors. The Government has done all these things.
"The new law does provide for regular review - the first in 2011. We need to keep nimble footed in response to developments in international negotiations; advances in the climate change science and as new technologies become available. The ongoing principle for the Government will be ensuring New Zealand does its fair share.
"This is a balanced and responsible approach to a very difficult and complex issue."