12 Sep 2012

Commissioner alarmed at changes to ETS bill

9:27 pm on 12 September 2012

The Commissioner for the Environment has been forced to defend her independence after delivering a damning submission on legislation to amend the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Jan Wright told the Finance and Expenditure select committee on Wednesday that she is extremely distressed by legislation to amend the scheme.

Dr Wright told MPs the bill would significantly weaken the scheme and shift 95% of the cost of emissions on taxpayers who are already subsidising climate polluters.

Her comments sparked criticism from National Party members on the committee, forcing Dr Wright to defend her position.

Dr Wright told the committee the bill would delay the entry of agriculture into the scheme indefinitely and said she stands by her submission that the legislation will put New Zealand's clean, green reputation at risk.