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Government members of the Environment Select Committee have today voted down the opportunity for a one month extension to the Zero Carbon Bill process, which would have given New Zealanders more opportunity to be heard, National’s Climate Change spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“This piece of legislation is important and people deserve to have their say. It has already had over 12,000 submissions and 1,500 requests from the public to appear in front of the Committee. The current timeframe affects the ability to hear and consider these submissions.

“A one month extension would have meant there was still time to enact the Bill by the end of 2019, but would also have given the Select Committee the time to properly assess the many submissions.

“Now there is going to be a truncated regional Select Committee programme, with as few as two MPs present at times. An extension is needed to allow the Committee time to properly hear regional submissions.

“Regional submitters are concerned by many parts of the Bill. The methane target of a 24 – 47 per cent reduction goes beyond what many believe farmers can achieve, and forecasts of over a third of pasture being converted to pine for forestry offsets have caused alarm.

“The Government has claimed their priority is to inform the public of the ‘just transition’ to lowering emissions, but by not allowing the Bill to be properly considered they are doing the exact opposite.

“It appears that this Coalition Government is so concerned with being first, fast and famous on the matter of climate change they’re failing to consider the impacts the Bill could have on everyday New Zealanders.”

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