When it comes to making any kind of effort towards saving the planet from catastrophic climate change I guess being even a “fast follower” was just a little too ambitious for the Key government. Now it seems that they’re content to be slow followers instead:
Govt to consider slowing down ETS
A review panel set up to look at the Emissions Trading Scheme has recommended the Government slows down its implementation.
Current ETS legislation requires the energy, transport and industrial sectors to be fully compliant by 2013. But the report says this should be pushed back to 2015 to make it more affordable for households and businesses.
“Climate change policy comes down to a difficult choice between how much and how quickly we want to reduce emissions and how much households and businesses are prepared to pay,” says Climate Change Minister Nick Smith. “The report is consistent with the Government’s climate change policy goal of New Zealand doing its fair share on this global issue.”
The Government has welcomed the report and says it will take it into consideration.
Duncan Garner rips into the Nats:
The Government will spend $500 million to reduce ever so slightly the impact on consumers, but the move does nothing to save the planet – it just puts it off for another day.
And the Government’s likely to borrow more, meaning future generations will have to pay that back too.
Hands up all those who are surprised by this development. Someone? Anyone? Nah didn’t think so. NRT sums up:
Climate change: Gutting the ETS again
One of National’s first actions after coming to power was to gut the ETS, by granting enormous (and unaffordable) polluter subsidies. The result is a scheme which is massively overallocated, and which provides active incentives for more pollution rather than less. Now, National wants toweaken it further, delaying the full entry of the energy, industrial and transport sectors, and extending pollution subsidies for even longer. This is being spun as reducing the cost on households, but lets be clear: it is about protecting polluters, not us. We’ll still be paying for that pollution, but we’ll be doing it through higher taxes (or, given that this is National, reduced public health services) rather than higher petrol prices. As for the principle of “polluter pays”, it will instead be “pay polluters”. And as for our “20% by 2020” target, we’ll be statutorily committing to fail to meet it.