As many of us expected, National has no intention of ever enforcing the ETS in the area where it makes the most difference to NZ emissions – agriculture. Key likes to spin our “all sectors all gasses” scheme when he’s posing overseas, but it’s not going to happen on his watch. “Market signals” and “market forces” are things that you use to bludgeon the poor with, they are not things that you apply to your farmer mates.
Here’s a typical piece of utterly dismal reporting on the topic:
Nats soften emissions blow for businesses
No, they abdicate their responsibility for trying to avert an environmental blow which will be catastrophic.
Wary of a backlash from farmers and households a year out from an election, the Government has moved to further soften the impact of its climate-change measures under the emissions trading scheme.
A year out from an election? Backlash from households?
Transitional measures rushed in by National after it won power in 2008 and due to be phased out next year will now be extended for another two years at least – and Prime Minister John Key has signalled that the most controversial among those measures, delaying the introduction of agriculture to the ETS, could be pushed out even further.
Farmers applauded the move and said New Zealand’s ETS remained one of the most punitive in relation to agriculture in the world, even with the delay – but the Green Party said excluding agriculture put New Zealand’s clean-green brand at risk and passed the cost of pollution on to taxpayers.
Mr Key confirmed taxpayers would have to pick up the $80 million tab as a result of the reprieve for business and farmers announced yesterday, but insisted the measures would minimise the impact of the ETS on “households, exporters and employers”.
This is obviously the new spin, but how exactly does it “minimise the impact” on households to have them pay for other people’s pollution? It’s utterly shameless. And as for the cowardly backdown on agriculture itself, how utterly lacking in leadership, how spineless, how completely and predictably National…