Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Climate change: the amendments

The Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill had its committee stage today. Meanwhile, National continues its bad faith campaign, whining about the government introducing "more than 700 amendments" to the bill. The reason I say "bad faith" is because National well knows that the vast majority of these amendments are technical, redrafting the odd section or (more usually) tweaking the odd word for clarity (in fact, a very large number of them are about inserting a hyphen into the word "carry-over"). I've read the lot of them over the last few hours, and here's the summary:

  • SOP 231: clarifies that there is no GST on emissions units. Substantive, but minor.
  • SOP 232: enormous, but just corrects spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • SOP 233: splits the bill into a Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill and Electricity (Renewable Preference) Amendment Bill.
  • SOP 237: industry pork from Rodney Hide, seeking to exclude HFCs as a favour to Fisher & Paykel. Given their attitude towards New Zealand workers, I say fuck 'em.
  • SOP 238: redrafts various sections for clarity, but nothing substantive.
  • SOP 239: actual substantive amendments. There are about six of them, including establishing a small "innovation fund" and a $1 billion "household fund", handing out pork to the fishing industry, ensuring trade-exposed firms only receive credits to cover their exposure, rather than a general allocation of pork, establishing a symbolic target, and allowing the House to disapprove allocation plans through a negative resolution procedure.
  • SOP 240: an effort by the Maori Party to add a Treaty Clause. Pretty irrelevant, except for the inevitable court cases over forestry allocation. They would have been far better to try and amend the grossly inequitable treatment of Maori and non-Maori landowners in s68 instead.
Strangely, despite repeatedly claiming the ETS needed fixing, National hasn't put up any amendments of their own or given any suggestion as to what they would do differently. Which tells you just how hollow their rhetoric on this issue is.