May 12, 2008

Emissions Trading Bill Running Out Of Time?

Run out of time and supporters we think. Nevertheless this article from the NZ Herald is worth a read.....

The Government is in danger of running out of time to push through major pieces of legislation before the election - including its cornerstone climate change policy, the emissions trading-scheme.
With fewer than 37 sitting days left before Parliament is likely to dissolve for the election, Labour still has about 70 bills to push through.
The carbon emissions trading-scheme has been a high priority for the Government - although its value in election year is now debatable as it has been linked to rising petrol prices.
Passage of the scheme before the election is increasingly in danger if the select committee bogs down its progress or small parties follow through on threats to pull their support.
Labour does not have a majority on the select committee, so National could try to get small party support for an extension to its deadline.

This would give the select committee time to consider the Government's proposed amendments to delay the introduction of fuels into the scheme from 2009 to 2011 and to give heavy industry five more years of free emissions allocations.
The Government's proposals were announced after submissions had closed, so the committee could also force the Government to introduce the changes as separate amendments rather than inserting them in the select committee rewrite.
This could potentially subject them to further select committee scrutiny - and further delays - if they are considered to have major policy implications.

It is certainly The Hive's view that the changes to the legislation are so radical that it would be improper not to call for a new round of submissions and hearings.