ETS Fail | The Jackal

18 Sep 2011

ETS Fail

We all know there’s a pressing need to curb pollution. It’s a no brainer really, not only because of climate change but because we want New Zealand to truly become 100% pure clean and green. It’s unfortunate then that National has decided to further undermine the Emission Trading Scheme, in an incomprehensibly stupid move.

Nick Smith is cynically providing huge taxpayer subsidies to polluters while continually delaying implementation of an effective ETS.

It's not only about finding a balance between economic benefits and environmental concerns; it's about securing the future. Climate Change posses the most pressing threat to human existence on earth. National should not be ignoring that fact just to gain the votes of a few farmers and climate change deniers.

Unfortunately it's not just New Zealand where pollution legislation is being undermined... In the US electrical companies are legally challenging the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. As a consequence, Obama is delaying the enforcement of greenhouse gas emissions legislation... Then there's Australia:

David Caygill has provided National with a pro pollution industry report (PDF) that recommends another delay of the ETS. Not only does the Emissions Trading Scheme Review Panel recommend no cap on GHG emissions, they promote further subsidies for polluters for another 70 years, the cost of which can be measured in the billions.

After heavy lobbying from organizations such as Dairy NZ, who do not even recognize that dairying causes pollution, the report decides to completely ignore New Zealands international obligations and the scientific consensus on climate change. Mainly because of old white men thinking about their wallets:

The report states that by 2013, we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector by 300,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Meanwhile National plans to provide around half a billion dollars to further intensify the dairy industry and will impose penalties on farmers who do not increase production. Our government wishes to appear environmentally conscious, while doing the exact opposite.

Nick Smith thinks we’re doing the world a service because he says we produce things more efficiently than other countries. What the old fool fails to comprehend is that a green economy is more cost effective and productive in the long run.

National completely ignores the fact that the faster a full ETS is implemented the quicker emissions will be reduced, there will be less cost to taxpayers and the environment. New Zealand can make money from this if we move fast enough… it’s as simple as that.

Despite what some commentators have said, Labour says they intend to fully implement an ETS in 2013. It is interesting that this TV3 report fully contradicts what John Key was saying just a little while ago:

Not only is National ignoring the will of the people and the environmental consequences a delay will cause, the dangerous political game they're playing has a huge financial cost. Rectifying environmental destruction and the additional costs in a delayed ETS are substantive and should not be ignored.

New Zealand is failing to meet its GHG emissions cap under the Kyoto Protocol because of Nationals prehistoric policies. When New Zealand signed up, we committed to not increase greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, and despite the huge sink that is further forestry development, GHG emissions have increased by 30%. Now National plans to water down the already weak ETS even further. Are they insane?

National is undermining New Zealands sustainable future by ignoring the dangerous consequences of unchecked pollution. Unfortunately we're the ones paying for their failure.