On Thursday Parliament passed Labour’s climate change legislation, featuring an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), with the support of the Green Party.

Green Party candidate for the Tukituki MP seat, Quentin Duthie has prepared an account of this measure and the further local challenges involved in addressing global warming. I urge you to open and read his briefing, because it contains other web links to useful resources on the issue.

Meantime, here are some of his key points:

“The framework is now there to send a price signal through the NZ economy.

It does cost – that is the whole point. Climate change has environmental and social costs that we all pay for. An ETS attempts to internalise some of that cost into our economy to motivate efficiency, emission reduction, forestry, and innovation into lower-emission technologies. If the ETS spreads the cost fairly – so the polluter pays, so firms with genuine competitiveness risks are partially shielded, and so households who cannot afford the added cost are assisted – then our economy will begin to shift to a low-carbon future. This must be the future, but is also a contemporary necessity to protect the clean green brand that our agricultural exports capitalise on …

While the ETS will create a price signal to begin behaviour and technology change, its effectiveness is limited due to delayed sectors and investment lag-times. Therefore we need to use the power of regulation and Government funding to bring about change too. A crucial complementary measure the Greens negotiated is a $1 billion dollar fund for household energy efficiency such as insulation and clean heating, reducing household costs, national energy demand and emissions. This will help make Hawkes Bay households warmer and drier, with added public health benefits …

Climate change will not just impact on others; it will impact on us locally. MAF forecasts that agriculture in Hawkes Bay will suffer more drought, for example. A key messages to come out of the public meeting was that the community itself must take the initiative and prepare itself, rather than just relying on an ETS or Government funding. It was pleasing to hear of many initiatives in Hawkes Bay doing just this: from Flaxmere’s community garden to the new commuter bus service.”

Meanwhile, National has served notice that, while it supports government action on global warming, it will revise the just-enacted scheme should it win power. More on that to come.

Tom

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3 Comments

  1. Of course Labour has pushed thru another ill-conceived piece of legislation, IF it gets back in it wants more money to play with.

    My beef is that it is all built on the VERY SHAKY premise that CO2 is causing Global Warming.

    Now the climate may well be warming but even that is subject to significant debate, but any measures to clean up our act and reduce our footprint are good.

    But before we go handing heaps of moolah to Cullen consider;

    95% of Greenhouse gasses are water vapour – yes, i know, Labour can legislate against water vapour as well!!

    NZ is 4 million of Earth's 6,670 million people and we contribute to that portion of 5% of greenhouse gas which is CO2 that in turn means at best we (NZ) are responsible for 0.0006 PART of the supposed CO2 caused problem. Less than 6 ten thousandths of 5%, that will make a difference – Yeah Right.

    And for this, we are going to give Cullen and co millions of dollars for an internal money go round – with Helen keeping some each time you pass "GO" – so we can all continue living in much the same way we have for the last decade.

    If the ETS would improve our commercial position on the world stage i might be tempted to consider it but this a Tax Grab by stealth.

  2. As a farmer I cannot understand why the Hawkes Bay councils are rating land at a rate which the land cannot return; is this a subversive attempt to destroy all the high quality productive fertile land in the Bay.

    Turning this beautiful land into concrete and tarseal.

    As farmers get forced into the sticks, producing food from poor quality land, it should be noted that the food from this land is of poorer nutritional quality and will in time show up as poor health in the people of the bay.

    What is the agenda of the councils; is it kill the goose that laid the golden egg? I really don't think they have thought that far ahead; history is full of perfect examples

    Also a note on Splash Planet; it should stand on its own commercial feet and not be subsidized by financially struggling

    rate payers.

    I as a farmer ratepayer I cannot afford these excessive rates especially for services not provided…in final analysis I get none just a strangling bureaucracy determined to take everything I earn as a farmer I have a right to some income from my land; they the council/s think they are entitled to it all!

    Is this freedom in Helen Clarks Utopia?

  3. Collin Blackman must be one of the few remaining people that denys what 1000's of scientists don't disagree on -that climate change is real and it is caused by human activity. That includes global warming ; a not so subtle difference!

    NZ even with it's proposed ETS is still a long way behind Europe -so much for the claim we are going out on a limb.

    Just suppose of the two groups , first those who believe climate change is happening [& you would have been be deaf,dumb, blind and stupid not to} and secondly those who don't.

    What are the implications if either of these groups is wrong [& clearly one of them is!]. In the case of those who do believe it is real it means we stop wasting energy- introduce renewable sources of energy- do all sorts of planet friendly stuff.

    If the 'denyers are wrong -we all die-eventually [relative to the age of the earth – if the blink of an eye!].

    The real questions are about what we all are going to do about it. Even the countires with the largest polution will be moving soon. Many Chinese manufacturers are being shut out of Europe until they sort out their practices that polute, take advantage of poor workers etc.

    Get real you guys – maybe you should start thinking about your great grand children and the future they face!

    PS D McGhie I don't think Helen Clark sets the rates for the HDC – the elected officials and their really stupid spending has just a little to do with it! Don't you think?

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