National snub to Labour on ETS: part 2 — the fallout

By Gareth Renowden 14/09/2009

Carbon News has a special update tonight with the gory details of the government’s snub to the Labour opposition on negotiations to amend the emissions trading scheme. CN has also made available the full text of Labour’s proposed memorandum of understanding with the government (PDF) — which reveals that substantial incentives for agriculture were on the table. Commenting on the news of the deal with the Maori Party, a surprised Charles Chauvel told Carbon News:

’Negotiations with Nick Smith were … (pause) …I’m not sure now we had any discussions in good faith. We’d need to be very careful about whether or not we’d have any discussions with them at any time.’

Labour leader Phil Goff accused National of a “major breach of faith” over the handling of the negotiations, and Chauvel indicated that ETS policy was now likely to become a political football.

Under Labour’s proposed Memorandum of Understanding, Carbon News reports that the agriculture sector would have been given:

…free units for emissions reductions made by farmers before the sector entered the scheme on January 1, 2013. The offer would be worth hundreds of millions and encourage early emissions cuts by farmers who would then have free units to trade on the international market.

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