One thing you can always say for the Greens, they’re democratic to their core. Currently, they find themselves facing a tough choice – whether or not to support Labour’s Emissions Trading Scheme – and, true to their democratic principles, they’re asking for advice from the public on their decision.
Jeanette Fitzsimmons outlines the following pros and cons of the supporting the ETS:
- Pros: there will be substantial financial assistance to help people make their houses warm and dry. We have also made good progress on ensuring that the ETS does not lock our economy into old technology and that there is room for innovation. There will be better rules about allocation plans.
- Cons: We have not been able to get agreement to phase in transport instead it will come in in one lump in 2011, so this has not changed. We have made very little progress on agriculture but we are still talking about this. Very importantly we have not found a way for Government to accept a biodiversity standard to ensure that planting pines does not destroy biodiversity.
To that, I would add some cons of not supporting the ETS:
- If the Greens don’t support it and the ETS fails, there will be no ETS for at least another year, probably longer – we’ve waited too long already and all that matters to the environment is the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, not whether we held staunch to all our principles.
- Not supporting this scheme now risks the power to decide whether or not there is an ETS and what shape it would take going to National, should they win the election. The only guarantee is that whatever National would come up with would be worse than Labour’s ETS. Probably, National’s scheme would be a baseline and credit, rather than cap and trade, scheme like the Conservatives in Canada are pushing, it’s a sap to industry disguised as an emissions policy, basically no emissions reduction scheme at all.
The Greens should vote for the ETS not because it is perfect but because it is good, because it has been improved by negotiations between Labour and the Greens, and because the alternative is much worse.
Offer your opinion to the Greens here.