11 Sep 2008

Emissions trading scheme bill passes

12:58 pm on 11 September 2008

The Government's bill to establish an emissions trading scheme has passed its final hurdle in Parliament.

With the support of the Greens and New Zealand First, the bill passed its third reading by 63 votes to 57.

Climate Change Minister David Parker told Parliament that New Zealand was taking its place alongside other countries that have adopted similar schemes to combat climate change.

The National Party says the Government has rushed the process through so it can campaign as climate change saviour.

Climate change spokesperson Nick Smith says if National becomes government after the election it would take time to rework the bill and address the areas of concern before implementing the scheme by 2010.

Mr Parker says is unlikely National could make any real changes to the law in nine months, other than tinkering.

The Government made more than 700 amendments to the bill during the committee stages.

Though many were technical in nature, other amendments put in place sought changes by the Green and New Zealand First parties in return for their support for the legislation.

Parliament went into urgency on Wednesday evening to pass the legislation.