May 11, 2008

Global Emissions To Increase As A Result Of ETS

Now do we all agree that climate change is a global problem and that New Zealand with only 0.2% of global emissions isn't going to be able to make much impact through unilateral action? And do we all accept that it would be stupid to introduce policy here that might make people feel good here but which would make the global problem worse?

Well read this, again from Andrew Ferrier on Thursday

The world's greenhouse gas emissions could potentially increase along with the revenues of offshore dairy competitors, if New Zealand's proposed Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) is not changed.
This was the view put forward today by Fonterra's Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Ferrier, at the presentation of Fonterra's submission to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.

"New Zealand is one of the most greenhouse gas efficient dairy producers in the world.
"If we have more constraints put on existing dairy production or growth of our production in New Zealand, other countries will fill the supply gap. These other countries are likely to be less carbon efficient than us and so more emissions would be pumped into the atmosphere as a result.
"Not only does this defeat the purpose of the ETS, but it comes at a real cost to New Zealand's number one industry - which flows on to a national economic impact of around $2.7 billion."
Mr Ferrier told the committee that Fonterra totally supported New Zealand's efforts to reduce the world's greenhouse gas emissions and described the ETS as a pragmatic solution to the country's Kyoto Protocol commitments.
"However, given New Zealand is leading the world with this policy, we need to ensure the detail is driving the right behaviour to reduce emissions at every level.
"And for farmers, this means giving them the ability to manage their own farm's emissions and be rewarded for doing so."

Now we are sure most Hive readers will agree that this situation is a nonesense. So how has this policy got so far so quickly?

Aside from a misread of the politics the reason is a sub-plot of a number of people in government departments, the "green movement in the broad" and both major political parties (yes, including National), who don't like the dairy industry as it stands, let alone an expanded industry. So the EMS has been seen as a means by which growth can be restrained and maybe, the size of the industry reduced. Who cares that it is the number one export earner in our goods trade (tourism is some years bigger but is a service).