A diluted Emissions Trading Scheme, which continues to exclude agricultural emissions, has passed its third reading in Parliament – resulting in calls of “ecocide” from the Greens.
Green Party MP Kennedy Graham said in the end it would be taxpayers who pick up the tab for polluters’ emissions because the amendments “rip the heart out of the scheme".
Graham accused Prime Minister John Key and Climate Change Minister Tim Groser of “ecocide”, which is defined as the environmental equivalent of genocide.
The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill passed 61-58; the law change delays the introduction of some industries into the regime and defers agriculture indefinitely.
Labour, the Greens Party, NZ First, Mana and the Maori Party voted against it.
Groser said he believed the changes to the original ETS would ensure short term costs are not inflated and placed upon households and businesses in the current economic climate.
“These amendments will assist New Zealand in meeting its current and future international climate change obligations, ensure this is achieved at least cost to the domestic economy and provide the flexibility necessary to accommodate developments between now and 2015,” Groser said.
The Green Party has consistently said that New Zealand’s emission reduction plans were insufficient.
Graham said the ETS was now essentially pointless, as the “National government is doing nothing to incentivise clean technologies”.