- Date published:
8:12 am, March 5th, 2016 - 13 comments
Categories: climate change, ETS, global warming - Tags: climate change, Emissions Trading Scheme, ets, global warming, jeanette fitzsimons
Recognising that a carbon tax would be more effective, the Greens were reluctant to endorse Labour’s emissions trading scheme, but did so on the basis that it was better than nothing. When National took over in 2008 they gutted the scheme, and now we’re at the point where it is used to launder essentially fraudulent carbon credits. Jeanette Fitzsimons has reached the obvious conclusion:
Jeanette Fitzsimons: Forget tinkering with emissions trading scheme, scrap it
The Government is consulting on its review of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). However the key questions that need addressing are outside the scope of the review.
The review will not consider whether the ETS is the best way to address climate change. It will not consider when, if at all, agriculture should contribute to moving to a clean economy.
It will not consider whether there should be a floor price for emissions, or a cap on the quantity that is allowed. The ETS should not be amended, but withdrawn entirely. It fails on every count and is in fact counter-productive.
The purpose of a price on carbon emissions is to encourage people and firms to make better decisions in how they use energy (avoid that extra trip to town); and more importantly, better investment decisions: a wood-waste boiler instead of coal; a wind rather than gas-fired power station; a more efficient car next time. The ETS has done none of this.
The ETS should be abandoned and replaced with a simple and gradually rising price on carbon through a carbon charge, the proceeds distributed equally to all New Zealanders.
The ETS has been not only useless but counter-productive in limiting greenhouse gas emissions. There is no point in tinkering with it.
Read the full piece for plenty more. In other news:
2015 hottest year. By. Far.
Our Hemisphere’s Temperature Just Reached a Terrifying Milestone
Arctic warming: Why record-breaking melting is just the beginning
Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries
Cyclone Winston, Strongest Southern Hemisphere Storm in History, Hits Fiji
…and so on, and so on.
Given that a carbon price is a simple, effective and equitable pricing scheme you might imagine the righties who so love markets would be all over it.
But no. Their real intentions are laid bare when you consider what they really fought so hard for. An ETS so complex, ineffective and fraudulent that it can only be considered a scam.
Anything that limits a corporation’s ability to externalise costs is going to be fought all the way by them.
Yes, anyone with the remotest experience of corporate thinking could see from the start that a scheme where polluters can buy their way out of their responsibilities with ‘credits’, was never going to be anything more than a sweep it under the carpet PR exercise, rife with the potential for manipulation. Totally unfit for purpose.
Or totally fit for the purpose of bullshitting the public for corporate benefit.
Some economists may try to claim that an emissions tax and an emissions trading scheme are equivalent. But psychologically there’s a huge difference.
A tax sends the clear message that emissions are harmful, if you emit you must pay for the damage caused. Whereas a trading scheme implies some sort of “right to emit”.
A trading scheme also allows financialisation eg speculation and the creation of derivatives.
trying to use market mechanisms to assure NZs future? pffffft. National is always going to be in power every few years and no such neoliberal mechanism will survive them.
more like trying to use market mechanisms to game NZ’s future for the financial benefit of the 0.01% or whatever fraction of that
I had this argument before it was introduced – that corporations that evade tax would certainly evade carbon tax. Al Gore’s view was apparently more persuasive.
From memory Al Gore and many others understood that a simple carbon tax would be much better, but given the political realities of the USA at the time, decided that an ETS was the only option which stood any chance of being implemented.
In hindsight it turned out the corporates were just too damned mendacious and greedy for even that to work.
Be clear about where the responsibility lies here.
She’s right. That much is not in doubt.
Personally I’m reduced to hoping that my pessimistic prediction that the weather will render us incapable of emitting much more carbon was pessimistic enough.