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"The proposals in the consultation are a regressive move on Climate Change," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman, in response to the consultation document on the Government's proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
"The consultation is a further move to delay New Zealand facing the real cost of climate change - meaning New Zealand taxpayers will pay more.
"Delaying the phase out of 'transition measures', holding the cap on the market price of emissions - against advice - as well as possible further delays to the introduction of agriculture is irresponsible.
"It is in the national interest to be leaders. We need to seize the opportunities of a clean green economy.
"By protecting polluters we are leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab - $1.1 billion this year.
"We support moves to restrict the amount of overseas offsets companies can use.
"The consultation document talks about refining the ETS to ensure it operates as efficiently as possible - if we really want an efficient economy we need to ensure business move to face the full cost of their operations and don't get subsidies from the tax payer to pollute.
"If the government is serious about supporting efforts to maximise the long-term resilience of the New Zealand economy at least cost then we need to be proactive. Delaying the inevitable will only lead to poor choices and a higher cost to the economy in the long run.
"When Labour introduced the ETS it was weak - National's amendments have made it worse and led to taxpayer's funding pollution.