Australian ETS stalemate underlines Nats' folly

Published: Mon 30 Nov 2009 04:33 PM
30 November 2009
Media Statement
Australian ETS stalemate underlines National’s folly in rushing through its scheme
Difficulties the Australian Government faces in passing its Emissions Trading Scheme underline the folly of New Zealand forcing through its own legislation under urgency, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Charles Chauvel.
“National’s headlong rush to force through its ETS in so-called harmony with Australia is now exposed as even more of a folly because sadly Australia may not have a scheme in place before Copenhagen,” Charles Chauvel said.
“Labour in New Zealand is deeply concerned at the prospect the Rudd Government’s ETS may not pass because deep divisions in the Liberal Party Opposition mean the Bill is now struggling to find the numbers it needs.”
Charles Chauvel said no one could take pleasure in what was happening in Australia. "As I told Australian Climate Change Minister Penny Wong in Melbourne on 25 August, Labour here is very supportive of moves in developed countries to introduce economic instruments to price carbon emissions as such moves make a global agreement on climate change much more likely.
“So we still hope that the Australian ETS passes, but if it doesn’t it will certainly underline National’s folly here in ramming through its legislation to harmonise with an Australian scheme that may well not come into being --- at least not immediately, and certainly not in the form planned when Nick Smith committed to harmonisation,” Charles Chauvel said.
"National’s headlong rush has not been in New Zealand's interests. One major reason for that has been National’s insistence on alignment with Australia, despite the uncertainty there.
”Even as late as Wednesday last week, Climate Change Minister Nick Smith was insisting the Australian scheme would be passed. It looks certain that he will be proved wrong. How many other aspects of his rushed ETS will also turn out to be wrong?”
Transcript, Parliamentary Question Time, 25 November.
David Bennett: Has the Minister read any commentary from Charles Chauvel that it is foolish to align the New Zealand scheme with Australia as it will never get through its Senate; if so has he received any updated reports on progress across the Tasman?
Hon Dr NICK SMITH: Mr Chauvel, again, is wrong. An announcement has been made today that an agreement has been reached to enable the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation to be passed through the Senate this week. I note that the amendments have only just been tabled today by the Australian Labor Government. Its intention is to pass it through the Senate this week.
Charles Chauvel: Does the Minister understand the difference between the shadow Cabinet of the Liberal Party of Australia agreeing in principle to some amendments proposed by the Australian Labor Party, and the difficulty that the Liberal Party will still face in getting those amendments through the party room and through the Senate?
Hon Dr NICK SMITH: Yes, there are some differences of view within the Liberal Party of Australia, in the same way that I have noted here.
I seek leave of the House to table the papers released in Australia this afternoon outlining the agreement and the changes to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme on that side of the Tasman.
Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table those documents. Is there any objection? There is no objection.
• Documents, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.
Charles Chauvel: I seek leave to table a document that you may feel comes close to a ruling that you made earlier. But I think it is in the public interest to seek leave to table a report from the Sydney Morning Herald online from about an hour and a half ago indicating that the changes to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in Australia are by no means a done deal as far as the Liberal Party of Australia is concerned.
Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is no objection.
• Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

Next in New Zealand politics

Green Party Co-Leaders Full Speech: State Of The Planet: Government Must Be Guided By Values Not Money
By: Green Party
Poll Shows Three Quarters Of Wellingtonians Oppose Airport Sale
By: Wellington Airport
Christopher Luxon - Pre-Budget Speech To Auckland Business Chamber
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand Supports UN Palestine Resolution
By: New Zealand Government
Greens Welcome Cross-party Approach To Climate Adaptation
By: Green Party
Climate Change – Mitigating The Risks And Costs
By: New Zealand Government
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media