We had been getting stories from the provinces that National MPs were telling voters that they wanted to pull out of Kyoto or that they wanted to exempt farmers from agriculture. So Jeanette decided to find out for herself what the story was by leaping out from a coffee bar as John Key passed by on his Coastlands mall walkabout:
“While National’s ETS policy states: ‘A well-considered carefully balanced ETS is the best tool available to efficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the economy’, National candidate Chris Tremain told a meeting at Wairoa that National would reassess what obligation agriculture should carry under the ETS.
“Of further concern, is Otago candidate, Jacqui Dean telling audiences that National will not include agricultural emissions in the ETS at all, but will make other taxpayers foot the bill instead – despite National’s minority select committee report on the ETS stating ‘National does not believe the agricultural sector can or should be excluded from this bill, as it is such a large contributor to New Zealand’s emissions’.
“At the Hawke’s Bay A&P Show last week, National party activists said that National was even considering going as far as withdrawing from Kyoto, which even Australia has joined and the US is highly likely to.
“I am pleased to hear today that National is committed to the Kyoto Protocol but I am still concerned that farmers may be getting an even softer ride under the ETS than they were under the current legislation.
“It is crucial parties and the public know what alternative proposals National has to meet that challenge, and who has the correct version of the ETS according to Key,” Ms Fitzsimons says.