Monday, November 16, 2009

Climate change: Reported back

The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back [PDF] on the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill, but has been unable to reach any agreement on whether the bill should be passed, or even on whether it should be amended. Its hardly surprising, given the manifest flaws in the bill and the dictatorial way National tried to rush it through the Committee without scrutiny, but the result is that the entire committee process has effectively been a waste of time. Instead of having amendments scrutinised properly, they will be unilaterally introduced and passed by National with no notice and no scrutiny. The result will be an even worse law than we have at present.

Assuming, that is, that National can get a majority. And that is really dependent on whether they can agree amendments with the Maori Party. If they can't, then the present law will continue, and the stationary energy and industrial process sectors will enter the scheme without any free allocation on 1 January next year. Which is looking to be a far better scenario than what is on offer.

The government will no doubt try and ram this through under urgency as soon as they pay off Turia and Sharples. There is simply no case for that. With five sitting weeks left in the year, there is plenty of time for the Government to pass this under the normal Parliamentary process if they decide to make it a priority, without trampling all over our democracy. It may take more time, but we will get a better law as a result. And with law this bad, pretty much anything is an improvement.