News release

18 May 2008
NEWS: National won't cut corners on ETS at kiwis' expense

National wants to get the emissions trading scheme right and is not prepared to cut corners when kiwis' financial security is at risk, National Party Leader John Key told the party's Lower North Island conference in Wellington today.

"As a responsible international citizen, New Zealand must do its best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  A well-designed, carefully-balanced ETS is the best tool available for efficiently reducing emissions across the economy.

"Labour has been racing towards a political deadline - the 2008 election - and has been prepared to cut corners to get there.

"National is not prepared to cut those corners - not when the financial security of Kiwis is at risk, and not when getting this wrong means exporting jobs, ratcheting up inflation, and viciously squeezing household budgets.

"We believe that the current rushed timetable for the design of the ETS and the Select Committee process is reckless, given the importance of the issue.  Therefore, I'm calling for a delay in the passage of this legislation. 

"National will not support the bill going to a second reading until we are satisfied that it meets a series of key principles:

1. The ETS must strike a balance between New Zealand's environmental and economic interests. It should not attempt to make New Zealand a world leader on climate change. Kiwis simply can't afford to pay the price for that particular experiment.

2. It should be fiscally neutral rather than providing billions of dollars in windfall gains to the government accounts at the expense of businesses and consumers.  National does not think it's responsible for government to use green initiatives to pad the Crown coffers while thinning out Kiwis' wallets.

3. It should be as closely aligned as possible with the planned Australian ETS, with common compliance regimes and tradability.  In my second speech as National Party Leader, I called for close co-operation with our biggest trading partner on this issue, and I continue to call for it.  Given the Australian timetable for developing an ETS, I believe it's still possible.

4. The ETS should encourage the use of technologies that improve efficiency and reduce emissions intensity, rather than encourage an exodus of industries and their skilled staff to other countries.

5. It needs to recognise the importance of small and medium enterprise to New Zealand and not discriminate against them in allocating emission permits.

6. It should have the flexibility to respond to progress in international negotiations rather than setting a rigid schedule. This way, industry obligations can be kept in line with those of foreign competitors.

"National does not expect to be the sole judge of whether the revised bill meets these principles.  We believe that the views of New Zealanders must be heard and responded to.

"For that reason, significant amendments to the bill should be tabled in Parliament, referred to the Select Committee alongside the bill, and subject to public submissions. 

"This will most likely mean carrying the legislation into the next Parliament, but National believes that's a small price to pay for ensuring New Zealand gets the best ETS possible."


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#1 - Bruce Cronin 2008-05-18 18:52 - (Reply)

Good call, well done, but: the ETS is based on carbon being responsible for global warming and more and more thinking people are now realising the whole "Global Warming" (now conveniently morphed into "Climate Change") issue is a massive hoax. The emperor has always been naked and people are now starting to see it - Gore's Inconvenient Truth is more and more seen as very Convenient Lies. Have a look at the 100 scientists who tried to tell the Bali UN conference on climate change that they were on the wrong track - plenty of stuff on the Net for those with open minds.

#2 - John Mason 2008-05-18 19:19 - (Reply)

At Last! A politcian starting to talk sense in respect of the ETS. Labour and the Greens seem determined that we should solve our emmissions problems (?) by rapidly becoming a 3rd world economy. Clearly a parallel appraoch to Australia is a sensible way to go.

#3 - Lindsay Fergusson 2008-05-19 14:34 - (Reply)

While there may be legitimate concern about how an Emissions Trading Scheme will work, this has nothing to do with the Biofuels Sales Obligation which provides an opportunity for NZ to begin reducing fossil based fuels with NZ tallow based biodiesel that offers GHG reductions of 50-85% for less than 2 cents/litre at the pump. Tallow is a waste product of the NZ meat industry with no impact on the food chain, but can replace 5% of NZ's total transport sector fossil based imported diesel, helping us meet our Kyoto obligations and reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels. So, why vote against the Biofuels bill as well - particularly without giving any reasons? Opposition for the sake of opposition?

#4 - Allan 2008-05-20 18:06 - (Reply)

Exactly right. the NZ government have to do what is right by NZer first anf foremost and then as a member of the global community. If countries which are more able and powerful like the US, Australia, and China are taking a more deliberate approach towards ETS, what is NZ doing trying to lead the charge in what we cannot afford given our limited resources, and at the expense of her citizens! At the risk of being called cynical, I can only speculate that our dear Prime Minister is brown-nosing the global elite to prepare her post-Prime Ministerial career in international politics. The shame of it all is that the ordinary Kiwi is paying the price for this high-level career positioning!!

#5 - Chris Braid 2008-05-23 00:14 - (Reply)

Trying to win a race to beat Global Warming sure lumps Helen with the Greenies... Pity the Green party don't actually listen to the REAL Scientists... Global warning is too big a Juggernaut for any Government. I can just imagine when Helen Checks up on what is needed that she will fill in all our Volcanic holes to stop the Destruction of Ozone. Heck we lost our Big Ozone layer at Tiwai point thanks to her Party didn't we... We should have been mass producing our own Solar Panels and Wind Machines but the Government in their last 9 Years in office see no real need to detatch us from those who force us to Buy their Oil or Refining services. I actually Built parts for Marsden "B" development that was so quickly mothballed, Why? Some say overseas debt, but I believe that when Rob Muldoon thought Big he already saw a way to detatch and the opposition rubbished him because they thought that their `World Community'would always give them a good deal. The Party hasn't even got the mercy to lower their take on Fuel Tax to 50% to relieve our travel costs and punishes Diesel Vehicles even though their Exhausts are on the whole far less polluting than the Government Transportation Limo's. Time you Guys got in, don't spoil it this time, Let Helen Know that there is a NEW TEAM out to run the country and her time is up. I think New Zealand can go a long way to helping the World with the minimising of Pollution but The Labour dedication to Kyoto is a sure way to deny Funding to the best sources ... Another thing that really hurts is how Helen has attacked the Tree Farming voters with her legislation, many were struggling with their land 25 or more years ago Growing trees as an investment for their Whanau, Maori and Pakeha alike saw that there might be a return to help get their newborns through College or University, a luxury their parents could not afford them, so they Grew Trees to Harvest. Now because of that Grandstanding PM they will be punnished for Harvesting their crop even though the crop has dealt a blow to CO2 for the last 25 years. Grossy unfair and much against the original principles of the Party that used to look after the Young and helpless. It seems that if it helps Helen It's OK for them to pass ... Time to show her the Exit...

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