12 May 2009

Australian officials brief committee on emissions scheme

10:29 am on 12 May 2009

MPs have been told there's no need to link New Zealand's emissions trading scheme with its Australian counterpart.

Australian Treasury officials have briefed a special select committee reviewing New Zealand scheme, as officials from both countries look at options for harmonising the two schemes.

Labour's climate change spokesperson Charles Chauvel says took from the discussion the understanding there are not going to be any special deals for New Zealand in the harmonisation talks.

He says New Zealand will have to line up with other countries and if it is willing to mimic the same basic features of Australia's scheme, over time it will be allowed in.

The director of the non-profit economic and public policy research institute Motu, Suzi Kerr, told the committee there is no need to formally harmonise the two schemes if both countries trade in the same units.

Last week the Australian government said it was delaying its planned carbon emissions trading scheme for one year.

Announcing the decision on 4 May, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the changes were necessary because of worsening global economic conditions.

Under the new plan, an emissions trading scheme will begin in mid-2011, a year later than originally planned.