The Greens and the Emissions Trading Scheme

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, June 1st, 2014 - 227 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, ETS, greens, russel norman - Tags:

russel norman

The Herald is predicting that Russel Norman will today at the Green Party conference announce a new climate change policy, one that possibly involves the proposed scrapping of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

According to Isaac Davidson:

The Green Party are losing hope in the Emissions Trading Scheme, saying it has become a game for speculators, and may propose radical changes or even scrap it if elected this year.

Co-leader Russel Norman is expected to unveil new climate change policy at the party’s annual conference tomorrow.

The party foreshadowed their new policy with a series of attacks on the ETS in the House this week.

Dr Norman said the scheme, which was designed to reduce New Zealand companies’ carbon emissions, had now become a source of profit for big emitters.

It seems clear that the scheme, or at least the watered down and neutered scheme that National has given the country, is not working.  Projected emissions of greenhouse gasses will be double 1990 levels by 2030.  They are meant to be going down, not up.

The latest area of concern involves the Government moving to prevent foresters from receiving more expensive locally sourced carbon credits, selling them on, and then meeting their obligations by purchasing cheaper foreign sourced carbon credits.  At one level this is understandable but power companies and other heavy emitters do not have the same obligation and are free to profit at the Government’s largesse.  Double standard anyone?

Norman is right in that there needs to be a fundamental rethink on how we handle greenhouse gas emissions.  Because the current system is not working.

227 comments on “The Greens and the Emissions Trading Scheme”

  1. Clean_power 1

    Yes, Mr Norman, NZ needs more taxes. Please go ahead and lose many votes with your insane Green policy.

      • BM 1.1.1

        If we don’t have growth how can we pay for all these great socialist policies the green are announcing.

        Greens have already promised an extra $280 million in health spending.

        Hasta la vista, surplus.

          • BM 1.1.1.1.1

            Where are all the jobs going to come from, where is all the extra cash going to come from to pay for these policies.?

            Unless the Greens start announcing policies on population reduction and control, they’re full of shit.

            Like Labour the Greens seem to be only interested in paying poor people to breed, the hypocrisy is staggering.

            • Paul 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The last sentence was particularly tasteless, even for you.
              Smacks of eugenics.

              • Richard McGrath

                No, I don’t think so. Not only does the benefit system encourage people to produce more children (read: meal tickets), it incentivises the breakup of relationships (or tends to keep partners living separately).

                • felix

                  “Not only does the benefit system encourage people to produce more children (read: meal tickets)”

                  Eh? How does producing children = “mean tickets”?

                  Bugger all to live on when you’re on a benefit, mate. Every child is another mouth to feed, more clothes to buy, more school fees to find etc etc.

                  Where do the “meal tickets” come into it?

                • McFlock

                  Actually, talking about “population reduction and control” with an emphasis on poor people is textbook c1900 eugenics.

                • Tracey

                  You forgot it produces homosexuals from the unholy seperate house breed to earn scheme.

                  In the meatime may i explode your head with some facts?

                  ” In fact, the US and New Zealand evidence is that young people are having less sex, later than their parents’ generation.

                  The Salvation Army’s recently published State of the Nation report contains similar positive findings for New Zealand :

                  Teenage pregnancies and abortions have fallen during 2009, which is perhaps welcome news that there are fewer unplanned pregnancies. The number of 11–14 year olds giving birth or having an abortion dropped from 122 in 2008, to 108 in 2009….Although this decline is on a very small base, this number of pregnancies is the lowest in at least eight years. For older teenagers aged 15-19 years old, there was a 10% decline in the rate of pregnancies between 2008 and 2009

                  Such figures help contradict Key’s scaremongering use of the young as a pretext for welfare reform. More to the point, the NZ figures on DPB recipients do not bear out Key’s specific assertion about ‘significant numbers of very young women going onto the DPB and staying there for a lifetime.”

                  In fact, only 3.1 % of those on the DPB are under 20 years of age – and that figure has barely flickered since 2005, when the figure was 2.9 %. Put another way, 97% of the people on the DPB are NOT the ‘very young women’ of Key’s lurid imagination. There are in fact, significantly more people on the DPB over 55 years of age (5.6%) than there are ‘very young women’ receiving this benefit.

                  The vast bulk of DPB recipients (nearly 75%) are what you would expect : they are aged between 25 and 54. Some 61% of them are caring for children six years or under – a figure that, again, has barely changed since 2005. Nearly half are caring for two or more dependent children.

                  Many of these women are caring for children alone because of a marriage breakdown, which is rarely a lifestyle choice. They have not only borne the opportunity cost of foregoing career opportunities to raise a family but are also now doing the bulk of the parenting alone and – if one can believe the child support payment figures – very often without the financial support that is due to them. Even so, more DPB recipients are engaged in part-time work (16%) than those on the dole. Far from being left at home to look after their children in ways that low income workers cannot, people on the DPB have since last September, faced a regime of work tesing.

                  These are the women that the WWG and the Key government want to stigmatise? Even Paula Bennett’s own department doesn’t believe the real problem here is a lack of personal motivation, or an absence of strong incentives. The Social Development Department’s December fact sheet on the DPB blames the economy instead :

                  The number of clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit at the end of December decreased from 106,000 to 98,000 between 2005 and 2007, then increased to reach 113,000 in 2010. This pattern reflects changes in economic conditions. (My emphasis.)

                  One further crucial piece of evidence shows there is no social or economic crisis in the country’s current DPB figures. The ratio of those on the DPB – if taken as a percentage of the working age population – was actually lower in December 2010 (at just over 4%) than it was when National left office in 2000, when the figure was heading for 5%. “

            • phillip ure 1.1.1.1.1.2

              financial transaction tax on the banksters would raise enough revenue to enable no more g.s.t..(if we so decided..)

              ..how is that for starters..?

              ..and paul krugman posted an opinion piece the other day showing how going ‘green’..

              ..will not cost anywhere near as much as alarmists/’just-do-nothing!’s claim..

              ..and in fact will be a massive economic/job-stimulus in many areas..

              • Paul

                Phil it’s clear from BM’s last comment that he/she does not care about the impacts of present behaviour on the future. Totally blinkered and fearful thinking evident.

              • BM

                So no need for population control?

                • Paul

                  Do you think it’s possible to continue with growth (as the capitalist system dictates) on a finite planet?

                  • BM

                    Without population control you will always have growth.

                    • Paul

                      Let’s just save a bit of time.
                      Do you accept that Anthropogenic Climatic Change is occurring?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Without population control you will always have growth.

                      Only if you have excess per capita energy available. Otherwise humans population track closely with the changing conditions that Mother Nature provides.

                    • weka

                      But those populations have traditionally been controlled by things like famine/variations in food sources, birth control/infanticide/abortion, euthanasia etc, so population control is necessary at some level.

                      We are going to have to develop culturally appropriate ways of enuring a steady or even declining population.

                      BM’s insinuation that there is something wrong with poor people having children is wrong though. We will most likely be better off with poor people than rich, because poor people generally have better adaptation and thrift skills, and have less sense of entitlement to a certain standard of living, and more willingness to do the hard work that others don’t want to do.

                    • That’s an argument that relies on an interesting and untested assumption- that is, that there’s no other way to achieve negative population growth than by authoritarian mandate or negative financial incentives, especially given we observe in particularly poor countries that some financial disincentives actually increase population growth as people know they will need kids to support them when they’re old.

                    • weka

                      Was that a response to me Matthew? My argument isn’t based on what you just said.

                      I’m talking about NZ, and NZ isn’t a particularly poor country.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Without population control you will always have growth.

                      Nope. Population in many first world countries is already in decline without any controls needed.

                    • McFlock

                      Population in many first world countries is already in decline without any controls needed.

                      Snap.

                      But I think paul raised a valid point – unless BM actually understands that APC exists, he’s just diverting to a wank about how the bodies of the poor are his to control.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No need for hate speech either, but here you are.

              • Pasupial

                P Ure

                Snap on the FTT.

                BMs eugenical master plan of population control of the poor fails even on the basic level that; the poor, by definition, are those with least resources.

                Even if one had the capacity and immorality to eradicate all humans from the southern hemisphere (say 2 billion – mostly in Africa & South America), that would do almost nothing to slow climate change. As the majority of resources are controlled by a minority of Europeans and North Americans.

              • Richard McGrath

                Krugman is a leading proponent of the broken window fallacy. Next thing he’ll be saying we need a good war to stimulate the economy.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.1.3

              “where is all the extra cash going to come from to pay for these policies.?”

              Cancelling the white elephant “roads of Notional Significance”. Pretty obvious, really.

              • Also a lot of the spending they’re proposing (eg. home insulation) will actually decrease other costs before the end of their term in government, and as such it’s likely to be fiscally neutral over the short-term.

              • infused

                Not going to happen.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Actually, I’m pretty sure, and hoping, that they’ll be cancelled before Xmas.

            • Tracey 1.1.1.1.1.4

              Can you point me to national and acts policies on population control and reduction, i couldnt find it from my searches. I did find john key not wanting decent sex ed in schools unless parents agree, is that what you mean?

              • You don’t think withdrawing support from low-income families is an implicit population control?

                • KJT

                  Actually studies overwhelmingly show that the more you empower, increase the economic status of, support and educate young women, the less children they have.

                  In other words, if the right wing were really concerned about the choices of young women, they would ensure they have better opportunities.

                  Not 12 hours guaranteed a week, McJobs.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    +1

                    numbers of children decrease as socioeconomic status of women increase

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    In other words, if the right wing were really concerned about the choices of young women, they would ensure they have better opportunities.

                    They’re not. What they’re interested in is young women having as many babies as possible so that economic growth can continue. They just won’t say that though. It’s why abortion is still illegal in NZ and why it’s not politically acceptable to talk about it.

                  • Oh, I agree with you, but I don’t think National’s stinginess to beneficiaries and those on low incomes was really ever thought about in practical terms, it was more of an emotive appeal to the idea that It’s Wrong To Have Kids You Can’t Support, never mind the fact that our policies actually put you in a position where you’re less able to plan your family and manage your life effectively.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The more poor people there are the more people they can force to work for the rich and thus the richer the rich become.

                    • Hah, if they’re analysing it at all, perhaps that’s the thought, but honestly, I doubt it goes beyond moral panic and maybe a bit of unthinking mysogyny at women daring to get pregnant. (As if it doesn’t take help, and is if those babies won’t be the ones responsible for funding their superannuation…)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      (As if it doesn’t take help, and is if those babies won’t be the ones responsible for funding their superannuation…)

                      Hmmmm?

                      Money is not the problem, never has been. It’s the productivity, creativity and social cohesion of society which is the problem. Money can be (and is) created with simple computer key strokes.

                      With youth unemployment hovering around 30%, we have created a society which doesn’t need the productivity and creativity of young people. I don’t see any change in that any time soon.

            • Stephanie Rodgers 1.1.1.1.1.5

              Pretty sure the Greens aren’t afraid of words like “redistribution”.

              We already have more than enough resources to feed and clothe and support every person in our society. The only reason you want to assume we need “growth” to fund these policies is because you desperately want to avoid the question of why the top 1% should be allowed to hoard society’s wealth.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The only reason you want to assume we need “growth” to fund these policies is because you desperately want to avoid the question of why the top 1% should be allowed to hoard society’s wealth.

                QFT&E

                • Colonial Viper

                  Reserve Bank figures suggest around $300B held in household bank deposits and managed funds. Company and corporate accounts would hold more still, on top of that.

                  There’s no shortage of money, it’s simply being hoarded and stuck in small isolated corners of the financial system.

                  Eliminating family poverty in NZ would cost $2B – $3B per year. A full employment policy for 25’s and under would cost perhaps half that figure and improve life in tens of thousands of family households.

                  But we clearly can’t be bothered as a society, despite the massive (paper and electronic) wealth that exists no one is interested in putting it to use in this way.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.2

          The only surplus around here is a surplus of Bill English authored lies. Labour knows how to run surpluses, no doubt the Greens do too. National, not so much – the party of borrow and spend (on your mates) simply doesn’t have the economic chops.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.1.2.1

            Actually thanks to the EQC canterbury settlements going according to plan, the government hasn’t had to use the budgeted costs for unknown contingencies and we have a small, if real, surplus. That said they had to get pretty lucky to do it, (the luck being related to the economy, not to EQC’s settlement path) and I wouldn’t really credit this recovery to the current government that much. They mainly managed to not screw up as much as they usually do.

            • Tracey 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Actually one of the reasons the rebuild has been slower than some hoped is because insurance companies, unbotheredby our govt, did their usual thing of delay and bully to get people stressed and fedup so tgey would settle for less than their true costs.

              This govt kept its hands right off that issue

              • Right, but insurance companies don’t affect the national budget. Whether EQC looks set to meet its obligations to Canterbrians in time and on budget does, and with the reinsurers and government convinced, it delivered National their surplus. We might not like it in terms of wanting the government to look bad, but I think the important thing to remember is this:

                It took this government pulling out every trick it had to achieve a very modest surplus in conditions where a left-wing government would probably have delivered a stronger surplus and a stronger social dividend, despite spending more.

                And yes, I’m not defending the government on the budget, I think we deserve better and anyone who’s seen me around this site before knows I’m not voting for them. 😉

                Also if you’re referring to anyone who’s accepted insufficient settlement from EQC, rather than private insurance, allow me to drop my politics hat and give some advice to these people: Under the Act you’re entitled to full remediation of all earthquake damage, and settlement is not considered final just because you bank your cheque. If you or someone you know were cash settled for an amount that doesn’t allow for that, the commission is required to accept any additional evidence you provide of this and review their decision. If people are giving up before even going through these channels while I definitely sympathise with them, I’m not sure we can really help them if they’re not able to back up their concerns a little bit with photos, contractor quotes, and as necessary engineer’s reports.

                I’ve done some of these reviews myself, and have proposed or approved several variations to customers’ cash settlements. Just remember for cash settlements where you’re near cap you will be asked for more comprehensive evidence than if you were cash settled for <$15k repairs or if you took the streamlined opt out route. If you’re at cap and your insurer doesn’t think you’re in their range for repairs, then you’re entitled to a joint review where the insurer and the commission come to terms.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It took this government pulling out every trick it had to achieve a very modest surplus in conditions where a left-wing government would probably have delivered a stronger surplus and a stronger social dividend, despite spending more.

                  Ahem. In a nation with a chronic and significant current account deficit, Government surpluses directly damage the private sector and the household economy. It does this by reducing private sector incomes and savings levels. Cullen did it by exchanging the NZ government’s debt with NZ private sector debt. He made the government sector balance sheet look good, while the private sector balance sheet ended up mortgaged to the hilt.

                  Political parties who crow about running surpluses as if it is a good thing are economically ignorant.

                  • Poission

                    The budget surplus projection is noise.ie it is in the range of random error at 3.5 std deviations.

                    Due to the decrease in fonterras payout of around 2b$ it is already wrong.Treasury’s forecast being lees accurate then a 10 day weather forecast.

            • KJT 1.1.1.2.1.2

              Forgetting that Christchurch is underfunded by at least 500 million.

        • Pasupial 1.1.1.3

          BM

          Financial transactions tax (which should also help reduce the high exchange rate due to our being one of the most [9th?] traded currencies in the world – what a surprise with a 4X speculator as our PM!).

          Capital gains tax (added benefit of cooling the property market before the bubble bursts all at once).

          Additional upper tax bracket for highest earners (I forget the number proposed, it’s about 4 times the median wage – so just over $100 000?).

          Actively pursuing tax evasion and avoidance (added benefit of cleaning up our reputation as an off-shore tax haven).

          Halting spending on Roads of National [in]Significance where the cost benefit is less than improving rail and other transport infrastructure.

          There are more options, but this lot should be enough to be getting on with for now.

          • BM 1.1.1.3.1

            Financial transactions tax (which should also help reduce the high exchange rate due to our being one of the most [9th?] traded currencies in the world – what a surprise with a 4X speculator as our PM!).

            This is a good, it means people need our currency and it has value.

            Also how much is speculation and how much is trade?, when people buy our products they need NZ dollars to purchase them.

            Halting spending on Roads of National [in]Significance where the cost benefit is less than improving rail and other transport infrastructure.

            You do realize having quality roads helps keep population down and less fossil fuels are used.
            Quality roads should be a green priority.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.3.1.1

              “This is a good, it means people need our currency and it has value.”

              Lol! Straight over your head!

              People don’t need our currency, that’s the entire point. They are speculating on it.

              • Paul

                You’re wasting your time.
                You are talking to a dinosaur.

              • BM

                So it’s all speculation, nothing to do with trade?

                Also ten on the list isn’t quite as impressive as it sounds

                http://www.therichest.com/business/most-traded-currencies/

                • Paul

                  From memory the discussion is about the ETS.
                  Do you accept that Anthropogenic Climatic Change is occurring?

                  • BM

                    I’m pretty easy about the thing,if it happens it happens, but I know you and many here on this site believe wholeheartedly in anthropogenic climatic change.

                    So I’m rather surprised that population control isn’t supported at all, I’d have thought controlling the population would be the main driver in reducing growth and stopping climate change.

                    Less people in cars, less people purchasing consumables.

                    • lprent

                      Unlike the ever accelerating rate of CO2 creation from fossil sources, the rate of population growth has been slowing since the 1980s. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth

                      Current projections have the world population leveling off under 10 billion people by 2050.

                      The actual cross-relationship you are trying to identify with hooking population to greenhouse gas emissions is actually the increased affluence levels in the very large poorer populations of the developing world. If only in the increased usage of cement (drying lime releases a lot of fossil CO2), this will continue to increase greenhouse gases. Since the vast majority of existing emissions are from the developed world on a per head basis, that is where the reductions have to come from.

                    • Poission

                      Population dynamics are a real constraint on the reduction of energy intensity in NZ (and globally)

                      NZ has since 1990 followed Rosenfelds law in reducing its energy intensity to produce $1 of gdp.(1990-2011 is around a 30% decrease)

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenfeld%27s_law

                      http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=92&pid=46&aid=2&cid=NZ,&syid=1980&eyid=2011&unit=BTUPUSDM

                      Simply put NZ population has increased since 1990 by around 25%,and energy intensity has decreased by 30%,but is still well above Japans metrics.

                    • Tracey

                      Have less children and immigrants but keep polluting?

                    • Paul

                      You don’t believe in facts.

                    • BM

                      You believe the earth will support 10 billion without too much issue?

                      That would put you in the optimist camp.

                    • Martin

                      Your first sentence tells me you have no idea of what we are looking down near term.. Why?

                      From what I can see we are at the start of what climate scientists call Abrupt Climate Change, last occurred 3,200 years ago when temperatures dropped hard for 1000 years. This time the opposite is being triggered.

                      You are right population though. 10 Billion won’t float on a planet with a carrying capacity of around 1.5 Billion. Infinite growth and consumption is what is wrecking the climate and can’t last on a finite planet.

                • Lanthanide

                  Did I say it was “all speculation, nothing to do with trade”?

                  No, I did not say that.

                  Clearly the reason we are so high up on the traded currency list, ahead of other countries with much bigger export markets and economies altogether, is because we are a good speculative target:

                  1. Stable government
                  2. Modern infrastructure
                  3. Western values and cultural outlook
                  4. Business-friendly environment
                  5. Small enough that our currency can bounce around quite a bit, which is good for the gamblers
                  • Colonial Viper

                    Your 5. is a critical point. These speculators don’t just make money from a given value of the underlying that they are trading, they make money from the volatility. The more volatility, the more money there is to be made.

                    And it is the volatility of the NZD as well as its generally high level, which is killing our export industries.

                  • BM

                    How about investment target, speculation makes it all sound a bit shifty and under hand.

                    • Paul

                      As you have not answered, I assume you do not accept that Anthropogenic Climatic Change is occurring.

                    • Tracey

                      Financial Omissions

                    • BM

                      I did further up, but for some reason the comment went into moderation.

                      [lprent: The mysteries about why some comments go into moderation and why some do not, often eludes even me. I’m just happy that the process causes me so much less aggravation by eliminating so many of the spam that causes wastes so much of my time. ]

                • Hamish

                  Why should the average punter give a flying fuck about trade if they never see any benefit from it.

              • greywarbler

                @Lanthanide
                speculating Just call it playing for money or gambling and perhaps the dunderhead RWNJs will get a sense of what we are talking about. And it shows their wrong-headed cultural cringe to feel
                proud that people overseas want our currency!

                I remember that when drug dealing in a Pacific Island came to light as being quite a large money-making operation, there was a recorded comment which found this praiseworthy as having been big and a success of its type for the Island.

                Feeling inferior can lead to bad, craven attitudes – let’s not touch our forelocks and say thank you sir to overseas robbers of the receipts from our hard work and enterprise.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.3.1.2

              You do realize having quality roads helps keep population down and less fossil fuels are used.
              Quality roads should be a green priority.

              Of course, you’re spouting idiotic nonsense. Although, by keeping people stuck singly in cars in traffic jams, I suppose that does enforce brief periods of abstinence.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3.1.3

              This is a good, it means people need our currency and it has value.

              No it doesn’t. It means that a lot of overseas people think that they can get higher returns hold NZ dollars than other currencies. This is probably due to the fact that we have higher interest rates. It’s got nothing to do with our currency being worth more.

              Also how much is speculation and how much is trade?, when people buy our products they need NZ dollars to purchase them.

              No they don’t as NZ sellers can sell in any currency they wish. Remember, we removed the laws that prevented people from holding offshore currencies.

              You do realize having quality roads helps keep population down and less fossil fuels are used.

              That must be due to more roads leading to more accidents killing more people or something. As for the using less fuel? Well, more roads = more fuel used due to more car use and the corresponding increased congestion.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.4

          If we don’t have growth how can we pay for all these great socialist policies the green are announcing.

          There’s plenty of money to build the society that we want. $280M is nothing compared to us letting foreign shareholders extract $15B per year (50x that amount) out of NZ.

          • Paul 1.1.1.4.1

            Yes…deal to tax havens and tax loopholes for multinationals, I ntroduce capital gains tax and a wealth tax, start a Robin Hood tax and an inheritance tax….there are many ways to extract money from the plutocrats and build a thriving local and sustainable economy.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.4.1.1

              Yep, best way to build a thriving and sustainable economy is to get rid of the plutocrats.

              The one thing we can’t afford is the rich.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.5

          If we don’t have growth how can we pay for all these great socialist policies the green are announcing.

          Easy.
          1.) We completely remove money based upon interest bearing debt
          2.) We have high enough taxes

          Don’t need growth then and everything is paid for.

      • Richard McGrath 1.1.2

        No, we don’t need any growth in our living standards and life expectancy.

    • Paul 1.2

      Is that just a dine and dash comment mr clean power?

    • Tracey 1.3

      Actually, insane is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, as national and labour do.

    • greywarbler 1.4

      clean power
      Thanks for being first with your wise and thoughtful advice for NZ and the Greens. Where would we be without a sprinkling of nuts on our sweet Sunday?

  2. Paul 2

    Polluters pay.
    Simple, really.

    • BM 2.1

      Consumers pay
      Simple, really.

      FIFY

      • Paul 2.1.1

        Including farmers, Rio Tinto Zinc, oil drillers….
        And as to the language you use. Personally, I describe myself as a citizen. You are free to describe yourself as a consumer. I see myself as more than that.

        • Kiwiri 2.1.1.1

          +1

        • BM 2.1.1.2

          All costs will be passed onto the end user, that’s how it works.

          • Paul 2.1.1.2.1

            In your world.

          • Pasupial 2.1.1.2.2

            BM

            I though the financial model used by major polluters was that costs were externalised onto the public, while profits were hoarded by the insiders. So that presently even those who attempt a carbon-neutral existence are still required to reap the consequences of shot-term profiteering.

            There is no end to a circular path.

            • Paul 2.1.1.2.2.1

              Yes BM is happy to allow major polluters to dump on NZ, while ‘consumers’ like him pick up the tab.

              • McGrath

                BM is simply stating economic and business fact as it presently stands. We’re all consumers regardless of political leanings, and end costs always end up with the consumers.

                • Paul

                  Let’s just save a bit of time.
                  Do you accept that Anthropogenic Climatic Change is occurring?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  So in a market where polluters have to pass on costs to consumers, what sort of production will win out? Higher polluting production, or lower?

                  • BM

                    The one that provides the best value for the particular consumer.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So that one particular consumer can extract all of the value but dispose of the shit and the waste downstream, making it someone else’s problem.

                      Nice little philosophy there, BM.

                  • greywarbler

                    My answer, in our present world, the higher polluting product will win out because the firm will find ways to present the product as having advantages that will lead to better sex, attractiveness, higher salaries and promotion etc and propaganda will win over damning facts. It may become an example of national patriotism to use the dodgy product. It may become a test of nerve to boast about, as in eating poisonous puffer fish, or odd things at wildfood festivals. We have a million ways of being dicks.

                    Example of propaganda for dangerous consumation – (when you buy and use something that is sexy) Marlborough man lean tanned standing by palomino horse with snow-topped mountains behind him and enjoying smoking cigarette.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.3

            All costs will be passed onto the end user, that’s how it works.

            Yep, they will be which is why it’s true that the rich never pay for anything and thus why we don’t need them.

          • Macro 2.1.1.2.4

            Bullshit!
            And talking bullshit – and I mean real bullshit – you know the kind that comes out of a bull’s rear end – is a cost that is not met by the consumer BM – it is a real cost and the cost is eventually met by you and me and every NZer – passed on by the farmer as an externalised cost. We don’t pay for it in our purchase of milk, we pay for it in our taxes when we have to clean up filthy rivers, and we pay for it by no longer to be able to swim in them, and the deterioration in the quality of our fresh water supplies, and in the loss of fresh water species so that the rivers become dead places rather a living environment.
            Best business practise at the moment is to reduce costs and maximise profit – you know that BM! And the easiest way to do that is to externalise costs as much as possible. That is – pass the costs on to the general community.
            Likewise for GHG emissions. Polluters externalise their costs to be picked up by you and me and later generations. It’s time they paid.

            • BM 2.1.1.2.4.1

              I completely agree.

              Farmers do get off scot free when it comes down to wearing the cost regarding the way their businesses impact on the enviroment.

              I don’t think tax is really the way to deal with the issue though, what needs to be done is create a compulsory framework of best practice that farmers must follow.

              The number one issue should be all waterways must be fenced and there has to be at least a 5m-10m strip of riparian plantings to act as as buffer for fertilizer run off.

              • Macro

                Very much agreed BM – Did just that on my property a few years back and the results were amazing .

                I wasn’t giving this example as one for introducing a carbon tax – I was merely giving it as an example where producers are want to externalise their costs. Which is what is happening with GHG emissions.
                With regards a carbon tax by the way here is a quote you might find reassuring

                The tax being proposed by the Greens is similar to that introduced in British Columbia in 2008 (yes the year of the GFC!)

                BC can boast of the crown jewel of North American climate policy. “BC now has the lowest fuel use in Canada, the lowest tax rates in Canada, and a pretty healthy economy,” says the University of Ottawa’s Stewart Elgie. “It works.”

                • BM

                  I do think farms should have some sort of code of compliance and it’s something the greens should push the government for.

                  The problem I see with the greens is all their ideas are the complete package, there doesn’t seem to be any in between, it seems to be very much a myway or the highway sort of approach to dealing with issues.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I don’t think tax is really the way to deal with the issue though, what I’d do is create a compulsory framework of best practice that farmers must follow.

                Of course you don’t – a straight, easy to understand tax is difficult to rort.

                The number one issue should be all waterways must be fenced and there has to be at least a 5m-10m strip of riparian plantings to act as as buffer for fertilizer run off.

                Someone’s already done the figures – it needs to be at least 20m.

                • Macro

                  The problem is not so much the width of the buffer zone – but the over use of nitrates and the overstocking of pasture supplemented by imported feed stock. Smaller herds, less fertiliser, and well planted buffer zones would be a good start. In the Mckenzie country buffer zones will do nothing on the free draining soils there. Nitrates leeching straight into the ground water.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    In the Mckenzie country buffer zones will do nothing on the free draining soils there.

                    Actually, they will – they’ll help with flooding control and ground water retention (Was reading an article about flooding and trees in the UK a while back).

                    • weka

                      Which goes to show that riparian zones have multiple benefits.

                      But I agree with Macro, as well as riparian zones, stock rates need to change. Best practice is being done by organic farmers and those using other sustainable land practices that reduce the need for excess fertilisers and overstocking. However, you have to not be greedy too.

                    • Macro

                      The rivers of the MacKenzie basin can flood Draco – but they won’t flood the whole basin, and its the threat from irrigation and high nitrate usage that is the worry there. The “greening” of the MacKenzie is dollars in the eyes of a few but the “down stream” depletion of water quality of the aquifers is the main problem.
                      Todays “insight” on RNZ is worth a listen.
                      Just back from a sojourn through the MacKenzie – it is absolutely stunning at this time of the year. To loose that for a few wealthy farmers to increase their wealth at the expense of thousands would be a tragedy indeed. The MacKenzie Accord needs to be enacted now
                      http://www.odt.co.nz/regions/north-otago/261127/high-country-accord-lauded

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I wasn’t disagreeing with you. just pointing out that riparian planting would have other benefits and so should still be done. At least 20m on either side of a stream/river/lake.

                    • weka

                      Hmmmm… the McKenzie country is highly modified by burn offs, sheep grazing, burn offs and rabbits. The whole brown tussock/dryland thing is a response to that, it’s not particularly natural. The area should be a series of interlocking ecosystems where the waterways sustain native scrub, wetlands, swamps and forests as well as tussocklands. Ground water retention is critical and won’t be solved by divvying up land between conventional farming and DOC.

                      Nitrates are a big issue, but so is overall land degradation. See this picture? http://www.flyfishinguide.co.nz/gallery/autumn-snow.jpg There should be a vibrant, multi-species ecosystem along that waterway. Human intervention and mismanagement is why there isn’t.

              • weka

                “The number one issue should be all waterways must be fenced and there has to be at least a 5m-10m strip of riparian plantings to act as as buffer for fertilizer run off.”

                Who should pay for that? Have a think about what you are suggesting in terms of implementation.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Who should pay for that?

                  The farmers of course.

                  • weka

                    Not sure where you live, but I spend a fair amount of time in various farm places and there are massive amounts of waterways. Massive. If the suggestion is that ALL waterways have to be fenced off and planted, then we need to take the amount of work involved in that seriously. Some farmers can afford that, I would guess many can’t. So unless we are going for the utopia (that resolves farm debt), I think we need to be more realistic about what would be involved and how it could work. Saying farmers have to pay isn’t going to work, and in some cases it’s not fair.

                    I also think there are probably farms that can manage their waterways and stock without fencing off completely and that that should be encouraged where its part of sustainable land management (am thinking low stocking rates in polycultures), rather than blanket rules.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If the suggestion is that ALL waterways have to be fenced off and planted, then we need to take the amount of work involved in that seriously. Some farmers can afford that, I would guess many can’t.

                      Two things on that:
                      1.) They managed to fence off the rest of their property without going broke and
                      2.) They should have thought of that before polluting our waterways.

                      I’d probably have the government do the actual riparian planting.

                      Saying farmers have to pay isn’t going to work, and in some cases it’s not fair.

                      Oh, it’s fair. They’ll whinge about it but it’s most definitely fair.

                      I also think there are probably farms that can manage their waterways and stock without fencing off completely and that that should be encouraged where its part of sustainable land management (am thinking low stocking rates in polycultures), rather than blanket rules.

                      We don’t want stock going into the waterways and the only way to prevent them doing so without standing a guard would be fencing them.

                    • RedLogix

                      @DtB ….

                      On the ground the definition of a ‘waterway’ can be fairly hard to nail down. While the main stream-bed can be obvious – there are often many small ground water flows that are either underground or very hard to see. And as weka says below – the actual network of water flows is massive.

                      Indeed about 80% of all the water flowing in a typical catchment is underground.

                      I think my point is that just ‘fencing off’ the waterways is not the whole solution.

                  • weka

                    ok that’s weird. I posted a comment and can’t see it. If I post it again, the site tells me it’s a duplicate. I’ve cleared the browser cache and looked in another browser and still cant’t see it. Actually that’s two comments that are missing. Can anyone else see them? One looks like this –

                    Not sure where you live, but I spend a fair amount of time in various farm places and there are massive amounts of waterways. Massive. If the suggestion is that ALL waterways have to be fenced off and planted, then we need to take the amount of work involved in that seriously. Some farmers can afford that, I would guess many can’t. So unless we are going for the utopia (that resolves farm debt), I think we need to be more realistic about what would be involved and how it could work. Saying farmers have to pay isn’t going to work, and in some cases it’s not fair.

                    I also think there are probably farms that can manage their waterways and stock without fencing off completely and that that should be encouraged where its part of sustainable land management (am thinking low stocking rates in polycultures), rather than blanket rules.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    It’s already a tax deductible farm expense, so no excuses.

                    • weka

                      So the government is actually the one who pays then? And the taxpayer.

                    • Tracey

                      tax deductible is only useful when you have themoney for the tax deductible item?

      • Tracey 2.1.2

        Well bm, you live in an unflushed toilet for a week, with your net take home pay and let us know what the future feels like, for everyone except the top 1%

  3. Lanthanide 3

    It’s a pity the Greens didn’t support a carbon tax back in 2005 like Labour wanted.

    • Paul 3.1

      Let’s just save a bit of time.
      Do you accept that Anthropogenic Climatic Change is occurring?

    • Macro 3.2

      Actually the Green’s first option for pricing carbon has always been a direct tax with off sets similar to that introduced by Gillard in Aus and the very successful BC experience.
      It was the Nat Shane Arden’s driving his tractor up the steps of Parliament that really scuppered the Carbon (FART) tax and led to the rethinking of the ETS. National have a lot to answer for in the years ahead, when NZ’s failure to limit emissions is reviewed in history.

    • LOL what. You may have that slightly backwards.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Labour’s ETS is another example of a non Tory-proof policy. Dead easy for National to break the system and it only took them 5 minutes to do so.

    In fact, where did this faith come from that policy makers can ever make a dent in the level of GHG emissions? The NZ economy is predicated on burning fossil fuels and on having lots of cows. Policy might nibble around the edges but it ain’t going to change those fundamentals. Making do with less economic activity is about the only thing which truly slows down GHG emissions rates. In other words economic recessions are good for slowing down climate change, economic growth and the increased resource/energy use that implies, accelerates climate change.

    • Paul 4.1

      Labour is too scared to roll back the neoliberal changes from 1984 to 1993.
      Too many compromised members of the party and too many career politician and commentators like Pagani prevent the Labour Party tackling the economic issues.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Labour is too scared to roll back the neoliberal changes from 1984 to 1993.

        Mate, you’re assuming that the underlying intention is there to do the roll back, but it’s only fear which is preventing actual action. Myself, I think that it is a rather big assumption.

        • Paul 4.1.1.1

          Fair point. It was Labour after all who first initiated the neoliberal medicine to New Zealand.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            And behind them, the deep state Treasury and Reserve Bank, where the detailed recommendations eventually used by Douglas, Caygill, et al originated.

            • Tracey 4.1.1.1.1.1

              And michael bassett, who has sinced aligned himself more with ACT?

              • Colonial Viper

                Yeah there were several of them Mike Moore too as well as some other lower profile ones, they held the balance of power in that caucus and poor Lange could do fuck all about it.

              • Martin

                Wasn’t that the purpose of the Queen’s Chain?

            • greywarbler 4.1.1.1.1.2

              I wonder if Treasury and the Reserve Bank have their premises in a bastille?

              • Colonial Viper

                The Deep State is very patient and does not stop no matter who is in power. For instance Key committed to no raising of the retirement age. So they’ll get Labour to do it instead, generously providing all the quantitative analysis and support required to convince the Labour caucus that it’s the justifiable and principled position to take.

      • Tracey 4.1.2

        Thats why greens and mana ip are important, just as act gives national the permission to move right in some areas.

  5. Chooky 5

    By Martyn Bradbury

    “A brief word on the Green Conference – why there must be a Green Cabinet

    ….Labour simply don’t have the MPs to be Ministers where as the Greens have a huge brains trust, Cunliffe needs to recognise this and limit the threat of the ABCs within Labour who still want to kill off his leadership by promoting the Greens…….

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/06/01/a-brief-word-on-the-green-conference-why-there-must-be-a-green-cabinet/

    • weka 5.1

      Had to laugh at this though,

      My invite to the Green Party conference must have been lost in the mail. Again. I get direct invites from Labour, MANA, and Internet MANA, but the Greens must have my old address….

      …The Greens have some incredibly smart brains…

      • Naturesong 5.1.1

        My invite to the Green Party conference must have been lost in the mail.
        Might have something to do with the amount of ink he uses slagging them off.

      • infused 5.1.2

        Pretty lol. Bomber’s head is so far up his ass it’s astonishing.

      • Murray Olsen 5.1.3

        That’s gold, weka. Presumably the smarter among the Greens put the invitation list together.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Bomber has a very odd and counter-productive take on this. Promising a lot of Cabinet positions to the Greens will massively agitate Labour caucus discontent against Cunliffe. It will strengthen the ABCs not weaken them.

      • Tracey 5.2.1

        Yes. If greens get sufficient seats, with mana/ip to make it possible to govern with labour, the cabinet positions will follow. First and foremost is to get those seats.

      • BM 5.2.2

        Don’t think the Labour voter would be particularly impressed either.

        If they wanted all Greens at the cabinet table they’d have voted Green, not Labour.

        • Tracey 5.2.2.1

          Idiot. Act has few mps and fewer cabinet ministers, but the tail has managed to wag the dog without you squealing like a stuck pig. As hard as it is for you to imagine the greens, should they form govt, will not ask for power disproportionate to their position.

          • felix 5.2.2.1.1

            ACT having power disproportionate to their position is only true if you accept the legitimacy of one person, one vote.

            BM (Farrar, Slater, Hooton et al) believe in one dollar, one vote.

          • BM 5.2.2.1.2

            Isn’t this what Martyn Bradbury is saying.

            We must have as many Green cabinet ministers as possible because the Labour Mps are complete thickies.

            • felix 5.2.2.1.2.1

              Apparently you missed the bit where the Greens don’t give two shits what Bradbury thinks.

            • Tracey 5.2.2.1.2.2

              Bm, this may come as a surprise to you but bradbury is not a part of the green party, in fact, they didnt invite him to their conference. He works for the internet party. Hopefully this brings some clarity for you.

            • Pasupial 5.2.2.1.2.3

              BM

              Putting a statement in blockquotes implies that is verbatim, which your statement clearly is not. Lying with your own words is one thing; pretending another has uttered those same words, is quite another. Bradbury actually said:

              If you look at the Labour caucus talent pool, it’s terribly shallow. The Greens have some incredibly smart brains and they will be required to do all the heavy lifting in the next Government, so much so they should demand a higher percentage in Cabinet than their proportional total.”

              See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/06/01/a-brief-word-on-the-green-conference-why-there-must-be-a-green-cabinet/#sthash.rSk33Obv.dpuf

          • Chooky 5.2.2.1.3

            lol

      • Pasupial 5.2.3

        CV

        Bomber’s take is more understandable if you remember that he is a MANA supporter. Stirring up animosity between the Green Party and the Labour neolibs may be precisely his intention. An IMPish wee vote-grab.

  6. nadis 6

    Surprised the left ever supported ETS schemes. They were essentially developed and promoted (in Europe anyway) by a consortium of investment banks led by Goldmans And Deutsche, so it was always going to be a dance with the devil. Carbon trading has generally been a very profitable desk in the larger banks, not to mention the multi-billion dollar frauds perpetrated by most participants but especially Russia, as well as the related multi-billion tax frauds. Even Germany gamed the system massively to give themselves significant advantages – baseline choice for instance.

    All this and the price has gone from $EUR30 to zero, then a quick reset back to EUR30 and we’re back down under EUR5. That’s about as close as you can get to a 100% loss in value over 9 years which tells you instantly the scheme is not having any rationing effect on carbon emissions.

    The right solution is one which makes the cost fall on the emitters (unlike the ETS) and treat carbon as a pollutant where emitters must pay to ensure emissions meet mandated minimums, i.e the same way we treat arsenic, lead, dioxin etc.

    The madness of ETS was firstly making unverifiable emissions from Eastern Europe and Russia fungible with Western Europe, allowing windfall profits to receivers of credits, allowing offsets – just generally having crappily designed schemes that were designed by investment banks to create a new market.

    And forget a Tobin tax- unless every jurisdiction introduces the same tax at the same time, all you will see is speculative activities move to no-tax clearing centres, and the cost of the tax being borne by the productive participants that are left behind. In any case you can trade NZD risk right now without even owning a NZD dollar – see NZD futures on the CME. They are margined and settled in USD so a NZD never changes hands. There goes your transaction tax on NZD speculation. Its not even a widely used contract but still trades over a billion dollars a day.

    • greywarbler 6.1

      Hey nadis that was a good roll out of informed comment. Balances in one a hundred RWNJ nut shells.

    • lprent 6.2

      Surprised the left ever supported ETS schemes.

      They didn’t. Both the Greens and Labour favoured straight pollution taxes and regulations. The problem was that National/Act would have killed anything like that immediately. So the compromise was something like a ETS.

      The problem with that approach was that National effectively made it into a farce. Time to kill it without recompense. Everyone who could take profit out of it already has.

    • RedLogix 6.3

      Thanks nadis. Nice to get a decent comment from the right. Really – no sarc intended.

      As lprent says above, the left was never all that keen on an ETS – they were pretty much seen as a political compromise. After all ten years ago the neo-liberal mantra ‘the magical market solves all problems’ reigned supreme – and an ETS was seen as a quintessentially market-based solution.

      When it comes to changing behaviour Governments really only have four levers to pull; social engineering, market signals, taxes, rationing or criminalisation.

      In the case of carbon-burning behaviour the social engineering was rendered ineffective by a massive campaign of lies and disinformation. The next best option was market signals – but as we have seen ETS have been gamed, scammed and watered down rendering them ineffective too.

      That leaves taxation and rationing. (And probably most people aren’t ready for the idea of making it illegal to burn fossil fuels just yet.)

    • RedLogix 6.4

      Thanks nadis. Nice to get a decent comment from the right. Really – no sarc intended.

      As lprent says above, the left was never all that keen on an ETS – they were pretty much seen as a political compromise. After all ten years ago the neo-liberal mantra ‘the magical market solves all problems’ reigned supreme – and an ETS was seen as a quintessentially market-based solution.

      When it comes to changing behaviour Governments really only have four levers to pull; social engineering, market signals, taxes, rationing or criminalisation.

      In the case of carbon-burning behaviour the social engineering was rendered ineffective by a massive campaign of lies and disinformation. The next best option was market signals – but as we have seen ETS have been gamed, scammed and watered down rendering them ineffective too.

      That leaves taxation and rationing. (And probably most people aren’t ready for the idea of making it illegal to burn fossil fuels just yet.)

  7. blue leopard 7

    I would be very pleased if the Greens moved away from the emissions trading scheme. I have been puzzled as to why they support such a scheme – the information was out there from the outset that this scheme is highly vulnerable to abuse via speculation and largely due to this leads to the sad fact that ETS does not address the problem that it sets out to address.

    http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-a-cap-and-trade-system-preferable-to-a-carbon-tax-in-reducing-carbon-emissions

    • Did you not read or listen to any comments from the Green Party at the time?

      Basically they felt like the Labour version of the scheme was marginally better than nothing, so in order to give a basis for future improvement and not to hold up even slow progress on sustainability, they made a bunch of suggestions to make it better, and ultimately voted for it despite their reservations.

      Was really energised hearing the announcement they want to move to a cap-and-dividend system though, this is far more likely to work, and much less vulnerable to speculators and rorting.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1.1

        No I didn’t hear the Green Party comments at the time (why would I ask the question if I had??)

        I am glad to hear they were not sold on the ETS way of dealing with things (as KJT, also let me know) and am very pleased to hear that about them taking on a different approach – it has really bothered me that ETS scheme – it seems very unbelievable that we would create new schemes for speculating when our western culture seems to have a real problem-gambling issue rife at present…..

        • Right, I forget sometimes that people in these comment areas perhaps still have an enthusiasm gap with nerds like myself, hehe. 🙂

          Yeah, it wasn’t a great solution, but keep in mind at the time it seemed like an ETS was the only game in town, which I imagine is why Labour proposed it, as always being too vulnerable to right-wing pressure, both internally and externally.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1.1.1.1

            Despite there being a better option I guess it was a good move for the Greens to support Labour in ETS (if that is what occurred), better to support and get something going than to be seen to be stalling over something like that, (although they suffered in my eyes – I have really felt rather suspicious about them for going with that type of scheme….what a pity I missed that vital piece of info!)

            I don’t believe it was ever the only option – not judging by overseas debates on the matter that can be read on the internet. I’ll bet our media ensured that is what ‘we’ believed though.

            I agree with your assessment re Labour and being too vulnerable to right-wing pressure. Seems to me that they are improving on that front, although likely still a weakness there.

            This move by the Greens is an influential one for me as far as voting goes….oh dear….there are really quite a few parties I want to vote for…how the heck am I going to choose….

  8. KJT 8

    As far as I am aware the preference of Green members, at the time, was tax and dividend.

    Labour would only agree to an ETS, however, which the Greens had to support as better than nothing.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.1

      Ah thanks KJT – I really have been puzzled by their stance, the Greens are usually pretty onto it when it comes to assessing the consequences/pitfalls of a given political approach and your comment explains their ‘ETS’ stance. This makes sense.

  9. Not sure if this has been posted – I couldn’t see it.

    Livestream – Green Party Policy Announcement

    • Tracey 9.1

      you might say its a kind of carbon neuteal policy. The nats and others will just kneejerk at it as crazy, but it looks like an attempt to balance out responsibility and reward.

    • Pasupial 9.2

      It was a great speech, though there were so many Highlights it took me over an hour to transcribe them onto Karol’s “Green Party Conference” post. Don’t know how to link to that here, and copy/pasting would take up too much space – it’s comment 14.

      Probably my favourite was:

      [18:55] We cannot expect other bigger countries to reduce emissions if we are not doing so ourselves. Especially when many of those countries are poorer than us. On the other hand, by demonstrating that a transition to a clean economy is both possible and rewarding, we can help spur global action. We are a can-do country. We are not the kind of people who expect others to do the heavy lifting while we sit back. So why sit back on climate change?

  10. Paul 10

    Quite a positive headline for the Herald.
    “Greens unveil bold carbon tax plan”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11265690

    The detail from the article.

    “The Green Party has unveiled a bold plan to tax companies for their carbon pollution, though farmers would be charged half-price and all revenue would be returned to households and businesses.

    The party has completely lost hope in the “failed” Emissions Trading Scheme and now wants to replace it with a carbon tax in order to ramp up New Zealand’s efforts to combat climate change.

    In a speech at the Green party AGM this afternoon, co-leader Russel Norman said climate change was the “biggest issue of our time”, if not “the biggest issue of all time”.”

    • KJT 10.2

      Hurray.

      Game on!

    • Colonial Viper 10.3

      Fossil fuel energy depletion is the most significant issue of our time, is biting now and will be very severe within the next 20 years. Nevertheless, the Greens are doing well.

      • Tracey 10.3.1

        Agree, national think fossil fuels are the answer. The problem is the question they are asking is, what makes the fossil fuel producers happiest. The greens are asking a completely different question.

        Some on the right think that if you dont think the answer is to drill or mine you have no alternative. IN FACT thinking that is the only answer is the crippled thinking of those at a dead end or in platos cave

    • Well looks like they were pessimistic, dairy is half-price and other farmers are exempt given they’re already at below 1990 levels. This looks like an aggressive but fair policy to reduce pollution that unlike the ETS is a genuine redistribution scheme- in fact it should provide a double incentive to switch to renewable models as polluters will bear the brunt of warming up the economy with broad-based tax relief.

      The proposal is really clever from both a policy perspective (for obvious reasons, and preventing dumb criticisms about the Greens being a hipster party that doesn’t care about the environment) and a politics perspective, as it positions the Greens (and thereby Labour) as being more definite, faster, and more populist on tax relief. Doesn’t hurt that it should stimulate the economy overall, either, even if it is bad for polluting industries, and they’ve also effectively tripled the incentive to regrow forests.

      Colour me impressed.

  11. weka 11

    This from Russel Norman via email

    I wanted you to be the first to know about a major new policy we’ve just announced to protect the climate while delivering you and your family a tax cut.

    We’re calling it the Climate Tax Cut – a charge on the damage caused by pollution, the revenue from which will all be returned to you and your household, and businesses, in the form of a tax cut.

    Under our plan we will make the first $2000 of income tax free and give a 1% cut to the business tax rate too.

    The average household will be on average $319 better off every year as a result of our policy. It’s a win-win for the climate and families.

    Our goal is for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050. With policies like this we can lead the world on climate change and be truly proud of our clean green image.

    This is a game changing announcement that puts your household and our climate first.

    I need your help to ensure all New Zealanders know about this important policy.

    Please help to protect our climate by sharing this Facebook post to get our message out to everyday New Zealanders.

    [facebook/twitter links]

    Together, we can protect our climate this election, and ensure smart, green prosperity for New Zealand into the future.

    Climate change is the biggest challenge we face. How we respond to it will determine the kind of future our children inherit.

    The Green Party is the only political party offering voters a win-win plan this election that will protect our climate, achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and leave Kiwi families better off.

    Russel Norman
    Green Party Co-leader

    • Tracey 11.1

      The last sentence is soundbite gold… Msm might regurgitatethis one

      • I think even the Herald could get behind “exemption for all non-dairy farmers” and “1% company tax cut”. 😉

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.2

        The GP is getting into the hang of Tory-proofing their initiatives

        However they would have done better keeping the tax rates the same but giving people a distinct separate line item rebate on their IRD statement +$400 Climate tax rebate.

        That way people are clearly told every IRD statement that they are benefitting, instead of lumping it all invisibly together in a general tax rate.

        • Lanthanide 11.1.2.1

          Most PAYE earners don’t see any official documents from the IRD.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2.1.1

            Regarding that I think we need to go back to having it compulsory to fill in tax forms every year. The present system of it being voluntary has people losing hundreds of dollars every year and now we’ve got all the tax firms getting in the act of charging for a service that’s actually done for free by the IRD.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1.2

            Pay slips mate, every one checks their pay slips 🙂

            • Matthew Whitehead 11.1.2.1.2.1

              Don’t think pay slips even detail which brackets you fall into do they?

              But if yours does, then you’ll at least see that shiny 0% and know that’s thanks to businesses paying (some of) their externalities, like they ought to.

        • Looking into it a bit further, it’s actually a ~$160ish rebate, the policy paper assumes a family of two incomes. Of course, that’s the net figure after accounting for projected costs passed onto the consumer- the gross on your tax sheet would be $210 per income.

          Gotta love what the MSM is doing with this though, the stuff headline was basically “Lucy Lawless, Climate change!” You had to go halfway through the article to even see the levy would be given to the public as tax refunds. ><

  12. fisiani 12

    Weasel words from Wussel. Fails to say how much extra tax they will add on earnings above $2000, fuel, electricity and even fizzy drinks (every bottle filled with CO2.) Savings on first $2000 tax free just 2000 x 10.5c = $210 NOT $319 and all of that “saving” will be lost in higher tax rates for daring to earn over $40/week. Coal miners to be laid off as will oil workers and forget becoming a dairy farmer. A lose -lose policy.

    • That’s because this isn’t a revenue policy, it’s an environment policy.

      Also your maths is off, it’s an increase of $420 of after-tax income, but less $101 to account for the projected costs being passed on to consumers. So actually that accounts for higher prices.

      IF any coal miners are laid off, keep in mind that renewables are actually more job-intensive than fossil fuels, so it’s likely that they’ll have an easier time finding a new job than unemployed people would under National. And we’ll still need minerals for renewables- maybe we can go looking for some Lithium. 😉

      As for dairy farmers, they still get a 50% easy ride off the carbon levy despite being terrible polluters and making no significant overall drop in emissions compared with 1990. Besides, kiwis are smart, they’ll come up with economical ways to reduce their carbon-equivilent emissions to get around the levy eventually, making this levy apply less and less to farming, or for those who can’t adapt, they will farm something less environmentally destructive that’s completely exempt from the levy. Not a big issue either way.

      Use your brain Fisiani, even a National Party troll like you knows there’s no way to argue against a tax cut for everyone who’s not a polluting business, especially as “everyone” includes a 1% company tax cut.

    • Lanthanide 12.2

      Er, ‘fizzy drinks’ don’t produce additional CO2 that goes into the atmosphere.

      • LOL don’t tell Fisiani that, he’s still buying into National Party propaganda that farts will be taxed. 😉

        edit: Also apparently I used a word that triggered my serious reply for moderation… lol

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.2

        Er, ‘fizzy drinks’ don’t produce additional CO2 that goes into the atmosphere.

        Food grade CO2 is obtained by purification of industrially produced gases eg by extracting CO2 from natural gas wells, so yeah, it is additional GHGs in the atmosphere. (Although in the case of natural gas extraction of CO2 it would simply have been vented anyway as a by-product)

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.1

          I should add that some food grade CO2 plants burn liquid fuels in order to get their base stock of CO2 to purify, and that is definitely adding GHGs.

        • Lanthanide 12.2.2.2

          Ok, I didn’t actually know that.

    • KJT 12.3

      The Fisiani seal of approval for the policy.

      Along with some childish name calling to show that he is really afraid.

    • Macro 12.4

      I don’t mind if you loose out pal.. You’re a bit of a lost cause already.

    • Murray Olsen 12.5

      If I were a coalminer, I’d look forward to being able to work at a job that didn’t do its level best to kill me even more every time the government cuts back on safety legislation. The Greens will encourage cleaner jobs, which will no doubt be safer, and probably pay more. As for diary farmers, we’ve got too many already and they’ll have to forget it anyway under NAct as the price of farms goes up and Oravida helps China develop their own agriculture.

  13. georgecom 13

    If so, lets scrap the weak as rubbish ETS and go back to the first proposal – a carbon tax. What, $10 per ton of carbon? How effective a carbon tax will be toward reducing emissions I am not sure. BUT, it seems a whole lot easier to run than the complex and full of holes Nat Party ETS. Go for something easy to implement and administer.

    Didnt Shane Ardern and his mates do NZ such a service in 2005 with his anti carbon tax campaign. I wonder if in 20 years people will look back and shake their heads at such Fwit behaviour.

    • It’s $25/tonne, and $12.50 for dairy, which is currently completely exempt. Other farmers are left out as they have either stayed at or gone below 1990 levels of emissions and are thus not a contribution to the problem. To make up for carbon credits forestry will get direct payments for replanting, at about three times the value of current NZ credits. Very friendly to primary industry overall and quite realistic.

      Carbon tax should be more effective as it’s very simple and hard to dodge. It will either cut into profits of polluters, or be passed to consumers in price rises, reducing demand and thus consumption and thus indirectly, any further pollution. This is relatively aggressive but may not reduce emissions far enough on its own- we’ll need to give it complementary policies in energy efficiencies, moving to renewals, public transport, etc…

      As for the fart tax thing… I don’t blame the farmers- it was a slick pubilicity campaign played up by the Right Wing that worked very effectively on their fears. But we all know the risks now, we know we have to reduce emissions, so they’ll have to accept it given that their favoured alternative doesn’t work at all. If dairy farmers aren’t able to work under the tax by reducing emissions normally, they can switch to a lower-emission type of farming and still make a killing selling organic lamb instead.

      • georgecom 13.1.1

        The people I blame for the ditching of the carbon tax is the Nat/ACT Party who ran a strong campaign against it. In 2030 will people look back and wonder why Brash/Key/Ardern etc were so strongly opposed? Ignorance? Self interest? Whatever else? Really, national/act should just be honest and say we dont want to slow/reduce green house gases rather than pretend to care with the current rubbish scheme. it does stuff all to reduce emissions, and does add costs and confusion.

  14. Macro 14

    For those who are worried that a Carbon tax will not reduced emissions – it will.
    For those who fear that it will lead to economic ruination – it won’t.
    For those that say it will stop “growth” in it’s tracks (as if it that is a big deal) – it won’t.
    For those who think that NZ will become uncompetitive because of it – think again.
    For those who want to know the truth about how such a tax and dividend scheme really works and just how successful economies that have introduced one in the past are doing:
    look here:
    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/british-columbia-carbon-tax-sanity

    • Poission 14.1

      BC exempted a large part of agriculture.

      • Macro 14.1.1

        Agriculture is growing in BC – but it is not a major part of their economy which is based upon extractive industries

  15. Jenny 15

    So ends Labour’s farcical Pollution Trading Scheme

    ETS TKO

    • Labour’s scheme would not have been a farce. It would have been very conservative and required careful monitoring, but it could have helped somewhat at worst.

      National’s scheme, however, has been business as usual for farmers, a giveaway to some polluters, and a recipe for deforestation.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        Labour’s scheme was not Tory-proof and it took the Tories a full five minutes to turn it into a farce.

    • Poission 15.2

      The biggest trouble in little china( and asia) is the demographics ie substantial shortage of missing females of reproductive age.The demographics for population growth forecasts are not capturing this almost surely.

      http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1138110/deadly-demographics-women-face-grim-odds-male-heavy-societies-china-india

      • Colonial Viper 15.2.1

        Yep. Sharp observation. Most western developed countries (eg US, UK), but also including places like Japan, South Korea and China, are well under replacement fertility rates, or barely hanging on.

        The countries which have the most rapidly growing populations are in ME and Africa, eg UAE, Nigeria.

        • Macro 15.2.1.1

          And the prognosis is that they will continue to grow their fertility rates until:
          a. fewer women of childbearing age
          b. More education
          c. improved equality
          d. better health outcomes
          etc.
          Which all falls back on Western nations getting off their bums and actually doing more in practical aid programmes because the sooner we do the less people the world will have to feed.

          • Colonial Viper 15.2.1.1.1

            Which all falls back on Western nations getting off their bums and actually doing more in practical aid programmes

            Western nations are undergoing a long term economic decline and austerity. The power elite in those countries barely care about providing aid to their own citizens.

            We are in for a very different decade.

            • Macro 15.2.1.1.1.1

              That is certainly true. CV – but the simple fact remains that western resources are far greater than that of Africa (from whom the west has taken much including humans).
              There is a moral responsibility here as well as an economic one. There are some good things happening, but mostly private and aid agencies. The Gates foundation being notable. (I have a “young” friend in Vienna who is doing research on Malaria for WHO – totally funded by Gates). Many of the developed countries policies hinder rather than help – vis US food (subsidised corn) shipped in undercutting locally grown food and putting local farmers out of business.

        • Poission 15.2.1.2

          Japan is an interesting example,with a projected reduction in population by 2050 of around 25%.Hence for the increase in productivity via automation.

          • Colonial Viper 15.2.1.2.1

            Japan is stuffed. No amount of automation will save their economy or demographics. Their elderly are holding billions in Japanese Government bonds as retirement savings which will not be worth a cent down the track.

            For the last 20 years they have had the advantage of a massive current account surplus. In the last couple of years that is all over and Japan is now living in the red, with a shrinking aging population, and permanently declining internal consumer demand.

            Watch their political class swing towards nationalism and militarism in order to compensate.

  16. Clemgeopin 16

    The GREEN’S Carbon Tax details:

    Here is the detailed report on the economics of the scheme.

    ‘Estimating the impact of replacing the ETS with an Emissions Levy’
    Final report 30 May 2014, produced by BERL economists, Ganesh Nana and Mark Cox.

    https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/berl_report_30_may_2014.pdf

  17. Mike the Savage One 17

    This is another rather “smart” policy by the Greens, but it has a few flaws, and because it is so smart, I regret that the wider public will not warm to it. After decades of neoliberal brainwashing and intensive conditioning by commercial advertising, and other known influences, most out there will not even understand, let alone appreciate this constructive approach.

    The Greens are as usually ahead of the rest of society, but will hardly be rewarded for it. We live in a country dominated by petrol headed, short sighted opportunists, who expect government tax cuts or hand-outs, and will be totally reluctant to plan ahead, to pay more for goods and services, and will mistrust a tax exemption they cannot see put into their hands in the form of dollar notes.

    I am afraid that the majority of this population in NZ Inc will not buy this, will not get it, and will not vote for it, what a pity.

    Like in most western and developed countries, the bulk of the population are too dim to understand complex matters, and it will require real personal experiences of suffering, harm and damage, before they get it, what the “carbon age” will do to the planet.

    I wish it was different, but many here are dreaming, that their fellow citizens are as insightful and idealistic as they may be themselves.

    Good on Russel and Greens though, to have the courage to bring this forward.

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