MPs began the committee stage debate of the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill after Question Time and an urgent debate on the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Coal Mine Disaster.
Charles Chauvel led off for Labour saying the party’s spokeswoman on climate change Moana Mackey was unwell.
Part one of the bill made up much of the substance of the bill which was deeply disappointing to many as it was flawed and would do nothing to deal with climate change, Chauvel said.
He said National saw the environment and business as competing interests to be balanced, whereas they should see them as co-existing.
The bill heavily subsidized polluters and did not nothing to deal with issue of cheap carbon units flooding the emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Labour would seek to promote amendments phasing out Government subsidies of carbon units and also the use of the cheap foreign carbon units.
Former Environment Minister Nick Smith said the purpose the ETS was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that had been achieved every year since 2008.
He said he had expected speeches of praise for the Government, instead Labour and other parties wanted to put greater costs on businesses and householders.
Part one was voted on just before 6pm. Ministerial amendments were accepted by 61 to 58 with National ACT and United Future in favour.
Opposition party MPs amendments were defeated by the same margin.
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