There will be no immediate change to the introduction of the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) but delays in later stages are possible, Climate Change Minister Nick Smith says.
Prime Minister John Key yesterday ruled out delaying the introduction of the ETS despite concerns from businesses.
The transport, electricity and industrial industries are scheduled to come under the ETS on July 1.
Businesses were concerned New Zealand companies would be less competitive internationally because major trading partners, including Australia, were yet to introduce their own schemes.
Climate Change Minister Nick Smith said today the introduction in July was a "half-step" and would go ahead as planned.
It was only a 50 percent obligation starting on July 1 and there was a carbon price cap, so the cost was "not excessive to businesses", Dr Smith told Radio New Zealand.
"We think we've got the balance pretty right but we do need to keep flexible."
ETS legislation allows for a formal review of the scheme in 2011 and a increase in obligations from January 1, 2013.
At that time the Government would look at international progress, especially in Australia, the United States, Japan and Europe, Dr Smith said.
"If there was not progress in those other major trading partners, I think the Government would be unlikely to proceed with that step-up."
Until then there will be no change.
An average New Zealand family could expect an $165 annual increase in expenses from July, he said.