Nick Smith has just announced
a deal with the Maori Party to replace the existing Emissions Trading Scheme with a do-nothing joke.
- The new ETS will allocate polluting rights (carbon credits) free to polluters for the first years and then at a low capped price thereafter.
- Agriculture, source of 50% of our greenhouse pollution, will not be subject to the ETS until 2015.
- Polluters will be able to get more credits if they increase their production, free at first, then at a low cost.
- There will be no overall cap on the amount of pollution, which defeats the purpose of the excerise because there is no gurantee that greenhouse pollution will actually fall.
Basically, the National Party-Maori Party ETS will not do a jot to change the current situation. Polluters will be able to put out as much pollution as they like for free. The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will continue to rise, the world’s temperature will keep climbing, and the costs of climate change will keep mounting.
It’s unknown what the Maori Party got in return for selling out on their principles, as laid out in their minority report on the ETS special select committee. Speculation is it’s a deal on the foreshore and seabed.
The irony is, with people like the Maori Party betraying their principles and voting to do nothing about climate change, we can look forward to the seabed claiming more of Aotearoa and our low-lying neighbours in the decades to come. Well done.