Sep 8, 2008

DomPost on ETS

Very sensible Editorial today on the ETS in the Dominion Post. Just a couple of quotes

The Government should have opted for a more measured approach, linked to what other nations do. It should have sought to build a political consensus for an enduring system,

The reality is that the scheme, designed to meet New Zealand's Kyoto protocol commitment, will end up increasing the prices that consumers pay for all manner of things, and damage the economy, without necessarily doing anything about reducing the amount of carbon emitted in New Zealand.

About half of New Zealand's greenhouse emissions come from agriculture, especially the flatulence and belches of cows. The only way to make significant reductions in that at present is to reduce production - a move that would hit the economy hard. Instead, the Government needs to encourage, financially if necessary, research into grasses that produce less gas when eaten. Worldwide, there is minimal research in this area, despite some promising signs. New Zealand success in that area would be a huge contribution to reducing global warming.
The New Zealand scheme needs to be seen in that context. New Zealand is responsible for about 0.2 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile Chinese emissions are growing at a prodigious rate - according to some projections, by 2.3 billion tonnes in the next five years, far in excess of what the West is supposed to save under the Kyoto protocol.
The world will gain little fron New Zealand's rush, but New Zealand risks losing a lot through a flawed scheme.