9 Nov 2012

Government accused of 'ecocide' over ETS scheme

9:48 am on 9 November 2012

The Government has been accused of gutting the Emissions Trading Scheme by amending it with new legislation.

Parliament has narrowly passed the ETS Amendment Bill, which keeps agriculture out of the scheme indefinitely and allows polluters to import unlimited foreign carbon credits.

The Green Party argues the Government has gutted the ETS which it says was already weak, and is now pointless.

Green MP Kennedy Graham says the Government is guilty of what he calls 'ecocide' - a political crime of the highest moral order.

He says the ETS is now simply a trading scheme and it is highly likely to increase emissions.

But Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says the bill has gone through an extraordinarily protracted debate.

He says it strikes the right balance between the country doing its fair share while ensuring the cost does not impact unreasonably on New Zealanders.

The bill passed on Thursday by 61 votes to 58, with the support of National, ACT and United Future.