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Major parties begin ETS negotiations in NZ

- Thursday, September 10, 2009

Media reports state that the New Zealand Government and the main opposition party New Zealand Labour have begun negotiations to try and reach agreement of the details of a future New Zealand emissions trading scheme.

The negotiations come after the NZ Parliamentary Select Committee, set up to review and suggest amendments to the already-legislated New Zealand ETS, made some very broad recommendations but generally did not identify any major changes to the NZ scheme.

Most interest has centred on the involvement of agriculture in the NZ Scheme. It seems both major NZ political parties agree on an 'all sectors, all gases" scheme, with agriculture involved but coming into the scheme at a later date than other sectors of the economy. A key issue is the question of how free permits for the agriculture sector in the initial years of the scheme should be allocated. An intensity-based scheme (which has been proposed by Fonterra) appears to have been rejected by Labour, given the comments made by NZ Labour spokesman Tim Groser in a recent speech.  
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