Did the Climate Change Leadership Forum recommend deferring the introduction of liquid transport fuels into the emissions trading scheme and the postponement of the industry allocation phase-out?
The timing of phase-out of free allocation was raised by the Climate Change Leadership Forum, as it has been by many others.
Why did the Prime Minister, when she deferred the implementation of the emissions trading scheme, say that this was on the advice of the leadership forum, when that was not true?
Issues relating to phase-out are clearly one of the central issues to be determined, and have been under consideration by the leadership forum. But this should come as no surprise to the member, because in the explanatory note to the bill that is being considered by him and others through the Finance and Expenditure Committee, it is noted: “The engagement also included the establishment of a Climate Change Leadership Forum, … The Forum will continue until mid-2008 and its considerations will be taken into account … Issues that are likely to be discussed include … phase-out of free allocation,”. I am surprised that the member is surprised.
In addition to the select committee process, what other engagement has there been with the public on climate change policy over the last 2 years?
Last year’s consultation included over 50 public meetings attended by more than 4,000 people, and resulted in over 3,000 written submissions. Subsequently, we held other meetings throughout New Zealand. In addition, over 100 consultations between officials and individual stakeholders throughout New Zealand occurred, plus the select committee process. Consideration of a price-based measure has been happening since National, under Simon Upton, promoted an emissions trading scheme back in 1999, but still National says we need to delay.
Is the Minister aware that the chair of the Finance and Expenditure Committee, Charles Chauvel, advised the committee that both deferrals were recommended by the Climate Change Leadership Forum, when it did not do so; and that the forum was advised of the change only after it was publicly announced?
I was present at that select committee this morning when a similar question was put to both me and Mr Chauvel. Mr Chauvel made the point that the first he learnt of the proposed Government announcements was in a telephone call from me just prior to those announcements being made. He said he thought I said that it was being done because the leadership forum had recommended it. My recollection is that I had said that it was one of the issues that had been raised by the leadership forum. But I actually do not think that anything great turns on that point, so I am not sure of the reason for the member’s interest.
Why did the Government not consult with the Climate Change Leadership Forum on the deferral of the introduction of liquid fuels, yet publicly and privately use the forum to justify this change; and does this not show that the leadership forum is being used politically rather than as providing a serious dialogue with community leaders on trying to get New Zealand the very best emissions trading scheme?
What I am aware of is that National will try to undermine the probity and the effectiveness of the leadership forum. The forum has proven to be a very useful mechanism to engage with business, scientists, and environmental groups as we work through these complex issues.