ACT as part of its coalition agreement, and probably as a result of their funders conditions, forced a review of the Emissions Trading Scheme last year. The review has concluded that the science is valid and chosen to go with the IPCC 4th report as a basis. This is of course extremely conservative and doesn’t reflect the ongoing research. But the difficulty in educating politicians about how the world works means that this is a reasonable result.
At the end of this rather expensive process, which deferred or stopped required investment in planting and capital investment, the select committee came back with the precisely the same positions as it started with.
National wants to get the taxpayers to subsidize polluters for no apparent reason. One would have to ask exactly how much political funding is supporting that.
Act still prefers the denialist approach it borrowed from the flat earth society. Indeed it appears to have avoided sending people to the select committee in case they accidentally learned some science by osmosis.
The Greens and Maori party would both prefer a stronger ETS than the one that will go through by default unless NACT repeals it.
Who knows (or cares) what Peter Dunne wants.
Labour will pretty much go with the current ETS, but will tinker around the edges. Personally I’d prefer that they’d tinker more towards the Green position.
National is currently saying that they have the cold-war MAD option of repealing the ETS, which they could probably do with the Act’s flat-earth support. However this would result in the polluters not paying at all, and the taxpayers paying the whole whack. Somehow I don’t think that having to raise taxes to pay for Kyoto will go down well with their constituency. Leaving the Kyoto agreement would simply result in our exports going down the toilet.
Their best option for National is the one offered by Labour. Charles Chauvel says
This is a golden opportunity to reach a broad consensus and take New Zealand’s ETS design off the political battlefield once and for all. We hope National will seize that opportunity. If they do, Labour is ready and willing to work with them.
This would also mean that the last nine months spent rehearing evidence on the ETS already traversed last year by Parliament would not be a total waste of time.
However, Labour would not support amendments that contain massive uncosted subsidies to polluters under the guise of harmonisation with Australia’s proposed ETS. Nor could we support price caps that would further devastate new forestry planting.
National needs to stop getting wagged around by the flat-earthers at Act and settle down to a responsible bargaining position with reasonably rational parties for the benefit of all Kiwi’s. It would mean that emitters pay for the cost of their emissions, and tax-payers don’t subsidize them.
While I think that the resulting ETS is clearly inadequate for the task ahead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, government will have at finally started to take action after decades of inadequate responses.