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Greens release Green New Deal pt 2

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, December 3rd, 2009 - 20 comments
Categories: employment, Environment, greens - Tags:

Anyone who thinks that our economic troubles are over because the economy grew 0.1% is delusional. And no-one seriously believes that we don’t have to act quickly to stop the rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A Green New Deal is as necessary now as ever.

The Greens have come out with the second stage in their Green New Deal plan. The first stage was intended to generate 43,000 green jobs and create significant green infrastructure over the next three years at a cost of $3.3 billion. Unfortunately, the only aspect picked up by the government has been the home insulation programme, and that is a shadow of the plan put forward by the Greens (and supported by Labour).

The second stage is a longer term plan focused on afforestation. The Greens want to spend just under half a billion over ten years to create over 50,000 full-time job/years. They would do this by guaranteeing a minimum carbon price for private foresters, improving the Afforestation Grants Scheme and Permanent Forest Sinks Initiative that Labour set up, planting native trees on Crown land, eradicating pests that lower forest density, and eliminating wilding pines.

A good plan – less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, more jobs, a healthier environment, and all for a cheap price. And the Greens are promising more good ideas to come, if only the government would listen:

“In the coming months we’ll look to expand our Green New Deal programme. We want the public to be able to compare a Green Party response to New Zealand’s current challenges with that of the Government. But the Government would also be welcome and indeed encouraged to take up any of the measures we have proposed. Almost any of them would be more successful than almost anything Government itself has done so far. Unfortunately, to date the Government has taken up only one Green Party proposal the hugely successful home insulation scheme.

Many governments, international agencies, economists, leaders and academics are talking about a Green New Deal. In fact the New Zealand Government is almost a lone voice in not doing so! The Green Party is committed to showing that it makes economic and environmental sense for New Zealand as well.”

20 comments on “Greens release Green New Deal pt 2 ”

  1. outofbed 1

    yeah more great ideas from the Greens, Carbon tax anyone?
    But the msm will concentrate on who Tiger Woods is currently shagging and mothers locked in cupboards

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    They would do this by guaranteeing a minimum carbon price for private foresters, improving the Afforestation Grants Scheme and Permanent Forest Sinks Initiative that Labour set up, planting native trees on Crown land, eradicating pests that lower forest density, and eliminating wilding pines.

    So it’s been confirmed that Russell is the reincarnation of Muldoon then?

    Not that I’m against afforestation (I really do think that a large number of the farms in the country need to be replanted with native bush/forest) but I’m against subsidisation of private interest as it always damages society to make a few much better off.

    • toad 2.1

      Nah, DTB, Key beat Russel to that one by a long shot by locking in Governement subsidies to agriculture for its greenhouse emissions forever.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Few people seem to have picked up on the fact that one of the simplest and best mitigations for carbon sequestration, is to increase the depth of topsoil.

    The whole AGW debate may turn on the relatively simple matters of radically improving energy efficiency, transitioning to renewables, 100% resource recycling…. and sustainable agriculture methods.

    • Quoth the Raven 3.1

      Redlogix – Few people seem to have picked up on the fact that one of the simplest and best mitigations for carbon sequestration, is to increase the depth of topsoil.
      There’s lots of work being done in this area it’s not at all very simple and it’s not really about increasing the depth of the topsoil per se.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Yeah I know that, but ultimately it still boils down to good organic land management practises… almost always the opposite of the industrialised petro-agribusiness methods that have destroyed and degraded millions of hecatares of fetile land.

  4. Quoth the Raven 4

    Did the Greens stop to think that all this forestry may create a glut on the market thereby dropping the price and making the whole exercise uneconomical? Did they think about all their Green counterparts in Europe opposed to the very idea of offsetting? Did they think that sometimes the best approach to restoration is sometimes a leave alone approach because man cannot imitate the subtleties of nature in our tree planting efforts?

    • Bright Red 4.1

      it’s all based on carbon prices, not wood prices. In fact they prefer if the forests are natives, not commericial.

      • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1

        Wood prices have nothing to do with this? They don’t plan to do any harvesting? And they mention natives for commercial harvesting. Maybe you should read it again.

        • RedLogix 4.1.1.1

          If the carbon price is sufficient, then harvesting becomes a secondary driver. This is after all the whole point of carbon trading; putting a value on locking up carbon out of the atmosphere.

          Besides, slow growing native hardwood podocarps will always command a far higher price than rubbish radiata…which is more of a weed species than a decent silvicultural tree.

          • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.1.1

            …but wood prices are a factor (Bright claimed it was ALL about carbon prices) and if we start planting a whole lot of trees for harvesting now (as other places will be doing too) we’ll create a glut on the market.
            I would like to know what the returns of the timber vs carbon price is – anyone?

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.1.1

              At the same time has it not occured to you that if carbon was correctly priced (instead of kept artificially low with pathetic nonsense like our ETS ’emitter’s subsidisation scheme’) … that planting carbon sink forests would likely be hugely profitable?

              There is after all a monstrous glut of excess CO2 emmissions ‘on the market’.

            • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Truther – Don’t make stupid assumptions about me. Its price is artificial in any event. Maybe you should look into the reasons why so many Greens oppose offsetting.
              There is excess CO2 in the atmosphere. A market is being created for it. Don’t muddy the waters with your bullshit.
              The Greens want to create jobs. They should be economical should they not otherwise why not just spend that money on a make-work scheme?

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.1.3

              Well all prices are artificial in one sense, inasmuch they reflect the balance of supply and demand. But demand is of course always purely artificial, it is a reflection of how much we value something.

              You were concerned that an excess glut of timber might crash the price of harvested timber… which would be quite possible if that was the only value the forest had.

              On the other hand if place a value on the locked up carbon in the forest…and there was a very high demand for this… then the price for that would be very high. The value we place on harvested timber, or sequestered carbon… are both entirely artificial.

              But of course offsetting is a dubious medium-term dodge at best. Far better to simply reduce CO2 emissions in the first place by whacking a sodding great tax on carbon, or simply regulating the hell out of it’s use.

          • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.1.2

            You were concerned that an excess glut of timber might crash the price of harvested timber which would be quite possible if that was the only value the forest had.
            It comes back to my original response to Bright. Hir said that it was all about the carbon price. It is clear from the Greens policy that the harvesting of the timber is important as well. That was my point. Once again you’re talking past me.

            But of course offsetting is a dubious medium-term dodge at best. Far better to simply reduce CO2 emissions in the first place by whacking a sodding great tax on carbon, or simply regulating the hell out of it’s use.
            I agree re: carbon tax not regulation :-). I have always thought carbon trading is intuitively a poor idea.

  5. Quoth the Raven 5

    Why do the Greens insist on calling this a New Deal? Did the historical revision of the New Left just pass them by? This is a good read on the New Deal.

  6. andre 6

    The report says there is no cost associated with planting the 280,000 hectares over 10 years but rather the cost will sit as a contingent liability in the crowns books. Could someone explain this logic?

  7. Kevin Hague 7

    Hi Andre. Of course there is a cost in the planting, but it’s a cost to the foresters, not the Crown. The evidence that we have is that foresters are ready and waiting to plant lots more forests (and we all desparately need them to do so – this is not just some smartass sophistry. Trees really do store Carbon. Obviously best if permanently, but helpful even if for limited timeframes). The reason they haven’t, and that forest planting has been drastically decreased in recent years, is the uncertainty around climate change policy and Carbon prices. This element of our package simply aims to deal with this specific obstacle by underwriting a floor on the Carbon price. We actually think it unlikely that the Carbon price will fall below this floor, but the allowance for it to do so would need to show as a contingent liability. Kevin

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