This is a case where climate policy meets real hard politics, and - not surprisingly - it's kicking up a lot of dust (see New Zealand Herald, 5 May). Business assocations, opposition political parties and others make dire and terrible noises about grave damage to the economy and alienation of two of the country's more powerful friends, Australia and the United States.
Advocates of the new tax regime argue that in the long run everyone will benefit, as businesses and consumers become more efficient in their use of imported fossil fuel energy (helped along, in theory, by subsidies funded by the tax revenues). Will they prevail over those who say they're suffering the immediate pain of small rises in energy prices (for the average household per week, said to be NZ$4 [very roughly US$3 or UK£1.50] per week)?
It won't just be New Zealanders who keep an eye on what happens next.
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