Greens get mixed views on emissions trading scheme

By Paula Oliver

The Greens have been inundated with messages from the public telling them whether to support or oppose Labour's emissions trading scheme - and the advice is split.

By yesterday morning more than 300 messages had been received at the email address the Greens set up on Thursday to seek public views on which way to vote.

Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said she was personally committed to reading all the messages before she outlined the situation to her caucus at its next meeting on Tuesday, when a final decision would be made.

"They are still arriving faster than we can read them," Ms Fitzsimons said. "So far we have not been able to look at all of them but it appears that they are split for and against."

Since the call for public input, Greenpeace has stated that the Greens should back the scheme despite its not being perfect. It argues that something is better than nothing.

Prime Minister Helen Clark yesterday said she hoped that Greenpeace's view would "be a good sign to the Greens", and she noted that a decision had to be made relatively soon.

"They will be as conscious as we are that the parliamentary year, prior to the election, does not have a long time to run," she said in Niue.

Asked if the bill would be passed under urgency, Helen Clark said only that the Government had a big legislative programme and it was important there was no "mad, helter-skelter" rush to clear the order paper.

If the emissions trading scheme did not pass into law, the Prime Minister said she would make it a "major election issue".

- Claire Trevett

- NZ Herald

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