Monday, March 9, 2009

Senate inquiry into ETS to go ahead

A Senate inquiry into the federal government's proposed emissions trading scheme will go ahead, after the Greens and the Opposition agreed on its terms of reference.

Opposition emissions trading design spokesman Andrew Robb and Australian Greens climate change spokeswoman Christine Milne struck the deal on Monday.

The terms of reference will need to be ratified by the coalition's Senate partyroom.

A new Senate select committee on climate policy would conduct the inquiry, to be chaired by the opposition and deputy chaired by the Greens.

"The terms of reference will be broad enough to allow a proper investigation into the scientific adequacy of the scheme and its targets," Senator Milne said.

The inquiry would also look at the design of the emissions trading scheme, and if it would effectively transform Australia into a green economy.

It would be due to report at the end of budget week in May.

Treasurer Wayne Swan withdrew a proposed lower house inquiry into the emissions trading scheme last month.

The opposition argues an emissions trading scheme should not begin until 2011 or 2012.

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has said a carbon tax was another measure that could form part of the climate policy toolbox.

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