- Date published:
5:17 pm, May 8th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: flip-flop, national/act government - Tags: bill english, Emissions Trading Scheme, farming, fast forward fund, jeanette fitzsimmons, jim anderton, john key, Kyoto, moana mckey, r&d
Jeanette Fitzsimmons has written a very good post from the Emissions Trading Scheme special select committee* about her views on the impact of farming on our Kyoto obligations. She commented on the Federated Farmers submission which essentially said that they thought farming should be excluded from paying anything. That really isn’t feasible in NZ because…
However, in NZ methane and nitrous oxide from farming are the large half (51%) of our emissions. Leaving them out means taxpayers fork out a hefty subsidy to farming, or other energy users pay twice as much as they otherwise would.
What is as interesting as Jeanette’s post was the long set of comments, once you got past some of the usual commenting suspects and get into people genuinely discussing the issues raised. The need for research in the primary sectors keeps coming up over and over again. The techniques that are known to have some efficacy at reducing greenhouse gas emissions are not accepted by the Kyoto protocols because they have insufficent evidence to back up their claims. The main reason appears to be that there simply hasn’t been enough work done on them.
This was part of what the $700 million Fast Forward Fund that Jim Anderton put in place last year was designed to start moving into high gear. It was a long-thought out proposal that probably didn’t do enough bearing in mind the size of the industry in NZ, as Rod Oram said. However National reflexively and immediately denounced the plan and said that they would scrap after the election without bothering to look at the plan – to widespread condemnation by the industries that supported it.
Organisations that have issued statements welcoming New Zealand Fast Forward include Business NZ, Dairy NZ, ZESPRI, Fonterra, the Meat Industry Association, Meat and Wool New Zealand, PGG Wrightson. Horticluture New Zealand, Crop and Food Research and many more.
National said they’d replace it with a ‘better’ system, and then very quietly snuck off and dumped it in Feburary after the election.
Well it is now months later and it appears that there is absolutely nothing to replace the FFF, and apparently nothing in the pipeline. Moana Mckey from Labour asked about it in a press statement earlier this month and as far as I can see there was no response.
Our current Minister of Finance said while denouncing FFF
Mr English says National will make long-term funding commitments to science, research and development which provide certainty to the sector.
Now you’re dumped the certainty, how are you going to regain it as you promised? Is it in the black budget?
John Key said that
National is committed to boosting research and development into emissions-reducing technology, especially in agriculture. Around the world, countries will be focusing their research dollars on the main causes of their own emissions, and so should we.
Yeah right – where is it? There doesn’t appear to have been a single movement towards any of the points Key outlined since the election apart from some slash and burn ‘cost-cutting’ across all departments. I certainly can’t see any visible on the net.
In fact the best description of NACT ‘policy’ since the election was in a prescient statement by Jim Anderton last year
Imagine if these guys were in government. Policy would fizz backwards and forwards like the piston in a Vespa,’ Jim Anderton said.
That is what it exactly how it has looked like since the election. Lots of activity, strange schemes, and nothing much happening apart from an economy sliding further into a recession.
* This select committee is becoming a bit of a farce, as MP’s from the party Act who initiated this review are not attending. The slacker appears to be Rodney Hide, and presumably whomever he gets to attend in his absence. No Right Turn speculates that this is because they don’t want evidence to upset their preconceptions. However it is as likely that Rodney is busy firefighting the super-city proposals defects.