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Greens discover Nats full of hot air

Written By: - Date published: 2:12 pm, July 2nd, 2008 - 46 comments
Categories: climate change, greens, national - Tags: ,

A classic ‘cake and eat it’ from Crosby/Textor National has been their approach to climate change – stating they support tackling this issue but opposing every policy that has been developed. The latest example is their position on the ETS, which No Right Turn explains beautifully:

Reading the National Party’s minority report [PDF] on the Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill, you could be forgiven for thinking that National actually cared about the issue. In it, they advocate fixing a long-term emissions reduction target in legislation, push for the early entry of nitrous oxide into the scheme, and criticise the decision to delay the entry of the transport fuels sector as undermining the market.

Unfortunately, it’s all hot air. In response to that minority report, the Greens wrote to the National Party seeking details on their alternative proposals, with an eye to amending the bill during the committee stage. National’s response was disappointing, with Key refusing to answer any specific questions or state publicly what its position actually is. So, they’ll criticise, but not say what they’d do differently; promise a real alternative, but not say what it is; pretend constructiveness, while actually trying to impede any progress. In short, pure bad faith. And they expect to be able to work with other parties post-election? Not if they behave like this.

There is a positive side, however: if National has no real alternative, but is just criticising for the sake of it and to dogwhistle the deniers, then it strengthens the case for the Greens to support the ETS. After all, imperfect controls now are better than no controls at all in the future. And there’s always the possibility of bringing a bill to strengthen it post-election should the numbers work out that way.

46 comments on “Greens discover Nats full of hot air”

  1. outofbed 1

    I don’t think they(the Greens) have discovered the Nats are full of hot air, I think that they have just had it reaffirmed

  2. insider 2

    MAybe the Nats will front up on this when the Greens and Govt front up on the deal they are attempting to stitch up behind the scenes on self same bill. David Parker refused to answer questions on this in Parliament yesterday.

    Hon Bill English: Does the Minister plan to compromise on the phase-in dates for agriculture or liquid transport fuels in order to meet the Greens’ demands, so as to have the emissions trading scheme go through?

    Hon DAVID PARKER: Talks with other parties are continuing.

    Similar answers given to about five more such questions on Labour/Green plans.

  3. insider. The Greens are talking to Labour (as other parties are) because both parties are willing to engage in such discussion – National refused to engage, why? because it has no solution to offer, indeed it doesn’t want a solution.

  4. mike 4

    “After all, imperfect controls now are better than no controls”

    Same attitude as the EFA. Rush it through and sort it out later.
    In order to look like its doing something apart from talk about it labour are prepared to get it through at all cost.
    It will bite them in the arse just like the EFA – when will they ever learn?

  5. BeShakey 5

    Yeh those issues are exactly the same – in one case the Nats are shown to have no policy or even constructive suggestions to fix the problems they claim to see in someone elses policy; in the other, a Minister refuses to undermine negotiations on a major piece of policy by discussing the details of those negotiations while they are taking place.

  6. BeShakey 6

    Great thinking Mike – maybe if we ignore climate change it’ll go away. Best not to do anything, rather than something that is less than perfect.

  7. mike 7

    “maybe if we ignore climate change it’ll go away”

    Who said ignore it?
    Maybe take some time to get good policy instead of ride rough shod over the process in order to look good in election year.

  8. insider 8

    Beshakey

    Or it could be seen as a party getting a game playing request for information from the competition and refuses to play. A bit like the Govt refusing to reveal to the opposition legal advice around various contentious bits of legislation or purchase of assets or around the dismissal of health boards.

  9. insider 9

    The fact Fitzsimons has put out a release on this shows the gameplaying going on. But even she accepts a meeting wiht National was offered but she has refused. Interesting she wants anything discussed there to be public but not her meetings with the Govt.

  10. BeShakey 10

    Mike – when you disagree that imperfect legislation is better than no legislation you can’t then go back and claim you think something should be done. Or are you taking the National line that you fully support the legislation as long as it is absolutely perfect and has universal support?

  11. higherstandard 11

    BeS

    What will the ETS as proposed actually do to effect climate change ?

    Honest question as I haven’t read the proposed scheme but my fear is it will achieve little apart from generating revenue for the government and increase prices for the general public.

  12. Ben Nettleton 12

    Why don’t all those supporters of this site go jump off a very tall building. I’m sure it will increase our GDP substantially

    [lprent: Designating a probable troll. Target for termination if does not show signs of intelligent debate. (Yawn – why do they bother? They must pick up these bad habits from somewhere)]

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    Why don’t all those supporters of this site go jump off a very tall building. I’m sure it will increase our GDP substantially

    Mmm, people able to hold an intelligent conversation (even if it’s one you’re not quite ready to participate in, sunshine) are clearly detrimental to our nation’s GDP.

    Jeez benji, if you’re gonna be a troll, the least you could do would be to string together an insult that isn’t a non-sequitur.

  14. Maybe take some time to get good policy instead of ride rough shod over the process in order to look good in election year.

    Speaking as someone who actually knows something about the subject, this is good policy. It’s not perfect, its implemented too slowly, it doesn’t make farmers pay their way and gives too much to polluters. But its basically sound.

    Unfortunately, National is still citing the discredited NZIER report claiming that it will destroy the economy. Which I think shows how dishonest they have been all along on this topic.

  15. Lew 15

    I/S: The report doesn’t claim that the ETS will destroy the economy. It argues that the ETS isn’t economically as efficient as a government-pays model, by a delta of (from memory) 4% over several decades.

    No comment on the veracity of this claim.

    L

  16. randal 16

    crosby /textor are just two more humans manipulating the system to ensure that they personally have access to energy and cash. i.e. they are protecting their supply. no different from the rest of humanity fixatred on infantilised outcomes but more clout.

  17. T-rex 17

    Hey Nettles – good to have you here…

    First of all, even if we were all on welfare our disappearance would still result in a decrease in GDP. I’m assuming that you meant GDP/capita.

    Do you want me to arrange for you to come and clean my pool once a fortnight? Then maybe you could afford to go back to school and get yourself an edjumacation.

    Oh wait, you can already afford to do that, because left wing policy structures provide opportunities to everyone, not just rich smart people. Lucky for you eh?

  18. T-rex 18

    Revision to above: If you were planning to put magnets in our pockets prior to jump, and coils down the side of the building, and sell the generated electricity, and it was a REALLY tall building, and we already happened to be at the top of it…

    THEN I’d be slightly more supportive of your theory.

  19. BeShakey 19

    HS – my understanding (to be corrected and/or added to by those with greater knowledge) is that this will introduce a system to internalise the externalities of climate change. Some of this will of course be passed on to the consumer but that is of course part of the market system and an important signal to consumers of the impact of their choices, and a way for more efficient companies to signal this to consumers. Provided you believe companies respond to price pressures and will work to reduce them by becoming more efficient, companies should work to reduce their emissions.

    Of course, the actual system is nowhere near as elegant as the idea is, my particular beefs being the same as that of many others, and mentioned by I/S.

    There are other ways of addressing climate change, but this is probably one of the least left wing, most market focussed solutions that I’m aware of. The only realistic option that is further to the right is that proposed by National – do nothing (I’ll be delighted to revise this when some real policy is released).

  20. BeShakey 20

    Revision to above: If you were planning to put magnets in our pockets prior to jump, and coils down the side of the building, and sell the generated electricity, and it was a REALLY tall building, and we already happened to be at the top of it

    THEN I’d be slightly more supportive of your theory.

    If that was the case we would finally have learnt what NAtioal’s policy unit has been up to.

  21. vto 21

    Is this topic really quite the same as the c/t topic? In that, there really is no issue whatsoever because that is politics and ALL PARTIES play these games / negotiation tactics.

    To present something that is politics-per-normal as some sort of devious bad way to go about things is a little weak. Again.

    I don’t see an issue, again.

  22. Lew 22

    Replying to myself, because guessing at readily available figures is stupid:

    The NZIER report argues the ETS would represent a 2.1% reduction in GDP, a 3% reduction in household spending, and a 6.7% reduction in hourly wages in 2025; compared (under a government-pays system) to 1.2%, 2.7% and 4.3% respectively at the same date. ( http://www.nzier.org.nz/includes/download.aspx?ID=80458 )

    So, much less than 4%.

    I’d argue the natural justice of having emitters (rather than the taxpayer at large) cover the cost of emissions outweighs this delta.

    L

  23. T-rex 23

    Shakey – Your understanding is accurate, and yes, I can’t understand why there’s so much whinging from the right about the ETS in its present form… except for (as you mention) the fact that they could face ANY of the presently externalised costs.

    National’s approach is essentially identical to that taken by the old Bush administration at the ’92 Earth Summit in Brazil, where the Framework Convention on Climate Change was established.

    The US position was basically “we don’t want to rush in with these ‘commitments’ everyone is talking about, it’s too risky to do so before establishing an actual process. So how’s about everyone just chill out, kick back at the ranch, and get everything all totally worked out and THEN we’ll talk about some guidelines… yeah?”.

    Today they’re global pariahs for being the only nation not to ratify Kyoto.

    Who thinks that would be a good move for Clean, Green NZ? Even if we completely ignore the fact that climtae change is real (cause becoming less debateable by the day) and many of the low emissions techs are just flat out better (even before considering their lower emissions profile).

    Anyone?

    Sorry.

    Anyone except the New Zealand National Party?

  24. T-rex 24

    Lew: I’d argue the natural justice of having emitters (rather than the taxpayer at large) cover the cost of emissions outweighs this delta.

    Hell yes. And forgetting natural justice, govt pays doesn’t really provide any motivation for users to favour low emissions solutions. Emitter pays does. No brainer.

    Actually if it was a no brainer National wouldn’t be stalling. I’ll amend that…

    Very small brainer.

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    I’d argue the natural justice of having emitters (rather than the taxpayer at large) cover the cost of emissions outweighs this delta.

    I’m glad you mentioned that wee point! Benefits are twofold – heavy users pay for their own consumption; this will eventually ‘trickle down’ {yes, it does happen when costs and not benefits are involved} to the consumer level. So there’s internalising, and this will modify behaviour of both consumers and producers. We’ll buy better stuff, and they’ll make better stuff (from the consumer standpoint) when we look at carbon consumption.

    Edit: I doubt those figures take any of this into account. Government paying the lot would have no real incentive effect.

    And I see t-rex came in with a similar thought…!

  26. higherstandard 26

    Thanks BeS

    Think there would be reasonably high support for this approach amongst most of NZ as long as other countries/manufacturers who are major polluters come on board.

  27. vto 27

    Clark’s attack on Key today was…

    1. rabid.
    2. False accusations.
    3. Personal attack.
    4. Smear.
    5. Lie repetition

    dirty dirty dirty dirty disgusting dishonest deceptive politics with the stench of outside advisers.

  28. T-rex 28

    vto – got a link?

    Not that I find the first particularly hard to believe.

  29. vto 29

    t-rex, the news.

    captcha: not burning, yeah right

  30. ebsfwan 30

    vto: I think you are looking for the term ‘Cancerous and corrosive.’

  31. vto 31

    that too mr ebsauce.

    Double standards = less cred.

    and so it goes…

  32. Felix 32

    Come on guys, you’re supposed to be keeping it optimistic, positive and ambitious.

  33. ebsfwan 33

    One has to wonder why the PM simply doesn’t apologise that she made a mistake. She’d get some credit from me at least. Refusing to apologise just makes her look churlish and arrogant.

  34. vto 34

    right again mr eb. I think that would be the case with any politician in the eyes of NZers. I just think Clark has lost her mojo. And I think many others think that including herself in actual factual.

  35. higherstandard 35

    I can’t see where she was going with it to be honest even if Key did have railway shares now or in a pre-political life really so what.

  36. Haha the greens are up in red smoke just ask Cheech and Chong. Cough, cough, who let the utopian freaks out again?

  37. Matthew Pilott 37

    vto, I’m not going to defend Clark for that (I don’t know the details, but it looks pretty bad), but when I first read your list I thought you were talking about Key’s SPARC ‘policy’ attack the other day. Lets hope they can all lift their game, huh…

  38. What a disgrace, no wonder New Zealand is the laughing stock of the Western World.
    Proud to be a kiwi, yeah right !!!

  39. T-rex 39

    Not impressed with Clark either.

    As far as I can tell, the first accusation was weak as hell, purely hunting for the emotive response.

    “Mr Key was a Director of Bankers Trust, who advised on the initial sale back in 19(whatever), and made a $30mil profit that year”. So? Did he have a conflict of interests? EVERY group advising on the sale of companies skims a huge margin on the way through, it’s hardly a revelation! She presented it as far more sinister than it actually was.

    On the other hand, if Key held shares at the time he was minister for transport – THAT’S a potential conflict of interest. However he assured parliament he didn’t. Either he’s lying, Helen’s misinformed, or it’s hit-and-run on Labours part.

    D4J – The tragedy is we’re not actually that bad. You should watch coverage from an australian parliament session sometimes.

    The ACC situation – shocking. Isn’t it interesting how the news presented it too? “2 billion dollars in potential income”.

    That’s gross income. The whole point is that it goes back out to pay claims. At least that’s the present model. Somehow I imagine the private insurers are intent on turning a fairly large lump of it into NET income. Why on EARTH would we want to let them?!?

    It is despicable that National has kept this from public scrutiny until now. What a bunch of total f*ckers. “Hey NZ, we’re just going to wreck your no-fault accident compensation system – but look over there! Tax cuts!”.

    That behaviour pales in comparison to what was displayed in the house today.

    Love to hear what winston has to say about Rodney though. What an idiot to pick a scrap!

  40. Newsflash: Helen Clark didn’t tell lies about John Key today. They were, in fact, “factual misunderstandings”!!

  41. T-rex 41

    And cheer up D4J. We’re not ALL politicians. You can still be proud.

    Just maybe not of the fact that you’re a politician

  42. vto. explain how that ‘smacks of outside advisors’. Also, what is factually incorrect?

    captcha: admitted all. The day Key has done that will be a fine one.

  43. Lukas 43

    SP/Tane, have you seen one of yesterdays posts on Frogblog about the way Labour avoid answering questions?

    Link is here

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2008/07/02/formulaic-answers/

    Who do you think came up with the ‘strategy’ that was leaked to the greens? Or do you think that the greens are lying? Mayb there is a mole within Labour and is the only person within Labour with ‘morals’?

  44. vto 44

    SP, it smacks of outside advisers because it shows all the hallmarks of outside advisers (the type of activity you have been saying the last week is c/t script). And the when and where of shareholdings of Key et al was factually incorrect.

    Just as well she said it under parliamentary privilege ay.

    And by the way, what is wrong with being an ex-employee of Merril Lynch and Bankers Trust anyway? I smell more ‘rich prick’ bigotry rising to the surface again. It certainly stuck of that during Clark’s mad moment yesterday.

    You know, Clark and Cullen simply have to go. Their heavy infestation of tall poppy syndrome is disgusting and has no place in any sort of leadership.

  45. vto 45

    ‘stunk’ not ‘stuck’

  46. T-rex 46

    SCOOP: Phil O’Reilly demonstrates inpendent objective stance of Business New Zealand.

    Summary – “We just really think the ETS needs a little more thought to ensure it’s compatible with Australia. Can’t we keep on transferring the costs onto NZ at large for just a few more years?”.

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