The National Party generally supports the emissions reductions budgets proposed by the Climate Change Commission.
“We support, in general, that pathway with the budgets,” National’s Climate Change Spokesperson Stuart Smith said.
“The specifics of the budgets - it’s too early to say. I think to lower emissions by 8% in four years is a really tough ask. We’ll have to see.”
ACT on the other hand, opposes the budgets.
“If the Government wants to do what’s right by New Zealanders, it will shred this report and put it in a compost bin,” ACT leader David Seymour said.
“We should set a cap to reduce emissions in line with our [trading] partners, and let New Zealanders choose how they live, travel, and work within that cap.
“ACT was the only party to vote against the Zero Carbon Act and we got it right.”
The Maori Party said it would provide its position on the budgets once it fully reviews the Commission's report.
The Commission said in its final report, publicly released on Wednesday, achieving cross-party support on emissions budgets “must be the highest priority”.
However, it recognised different political parties may have different views on how to achieve these reductions, so getting consensus on an emissions reduction plan may be more challenging.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw agreed. He confirmed he would seek consensus from other parties when the Government comes to creating its emissions budgets.
Legally, the Government has until December 31 to consider the Commission’s advice, set its budgets and finalise the country’s first emissions reduction plan, detailing the policies it will use to achieve the budgets.
Shaw noted the Commission, industries, investors and communities around the country have said cross-party consensus would provide certainty around the transition.
“So we’ll offer every opportunity for the Opposition to come on board,” Shaw said.
Like the Commission, Shaw recognised different parties might have different views on how to achieve the budgets.
Indeed, Smith had a dig at the Government for emissions increasing and coal imports rising under its leadership and policies.
“National continues to believe the Emissions Trading Scheme should remain the primary tool to achieve our emissions targets,” Smith said.
Shaw didn’t say what would happen if the Government and Opposition couldn’t agree on budgets.
The Commission said, “In the absence of consensus, transparency remains critical. Debating the budgets in Parliament would enhance transparency by making sure that cross-party deliberations are captured on the parliamentary record.”
Here is a video of Shaw delivering his Ministerial Statement on the Commission's report:
Here is Smith's reponse: