New Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee said unequivocally yesterday National would introduce an emissions trading scheme - the same day Parliament signed off a planned select committee review of such a scheme.
It marks National's fourth position on the matter in the past six weeks.
"We've made it very, very clear that we are going to have an ETS," Mr Brownlee said. "It is the way to progress and we want to just make sure that all the other factors that are bothering people are well considered by that committee."
National said during the election campaign it would have an emissions trading scheme but amend the one passed by the previous Labour Government.
In a surprise after the election, it then said a select committee would look at amendments to an emissions trading scheme "or alternatives to it including carbon taxes".
Under a hail of criticism, and a move by the United States President-elect Barack Obama to back an ETS, Prime Minister John Key has since then suggested that an ETS was the likely outcome of the select committee.
Now, according to Mr Brownlee, who is also Leader of the House, an ETS is a certainty.
National agreed to the select committee inquiry in its confidence and supply agreement with Act, which wanted the committee to go back to basics and questions the science of climate change.
Terms of reference for the review confirmed in Parliament yesterday included one that is so broad it appears the science could be debated: it is to "identify the central/benchmark projections which are being used as the motivation for international agreements to combat climate change; and consider the uncertainties and risks surrounding those projections."
Act leader Rodney Hide, who will sit on the committee, said that the committee would look at the science; Mr Brownlee and committee chairman Peter Dunne said it would not.
Mr Brownlee also announced yesterday that a law obliging oil companies to sell a proportion of biofuel would be repealed next week.
He said there had been no guarantee that the biofuels would be produced sustainably and there were concerns that it would increase the cost of petrol by up to 8c a litre.
- additional reporting NZPA