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The Productivity Commission’s report on the transition to a low emissions economy is another useful contribution to the development of climate change policy, National’s spokesperson for Climate Change Todd Muller says.

“National is committed to ensuring that we have a sustainable economy while ensuring our environment is protected for our children, and their children, but this should be based on science, not ideology.

“A key recommendation from the report is that agricultural methane should not be included in an all-sectors all-gases Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). This is in contrast with a pledge made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that her Government would make sure the ETS was all-gases all-sectors.

“The recommendation reflects a growing view that short-lived gases like methane should not be treated in the same basket as the long-lived gases like carbon dioxide.

“This is the second time in a week an expert report has contradicted commitments made by the Government. Climate Change Minister James Shaw committed to the United Nations that New Zealand would have a zero-emissions economy by 2050, but last week a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment found that New Zealand can achieve the Paris Agreement goal of climate neutrality by reducing methane by just 12–20 per cent.

“When revising climate change targets, we must be conscious of the evolving science and not get locked into any unrealistic positions. The Government needs to be careful about not allowing rhetoric get in the way of the science.

“We are working with the Government to make meaningful bi-partisan progress on climate change. National wants independent, non-political Climate Change Commission established so we have a framework through which we address climate change issues in the future.”

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