web analytics

The wood, the trees and the ETS

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 3rd, 2020 - 4 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, ETS, global warming, greens, science, uncategorized - Tags:

It’s a brutal thing to propose more taxes and costs on business during our worst economic meltdown in a century.

But yesterday along with some stronger stick, comes some agricultural carrot as well.

In the Emissions Trading Reform bill that went through its second reading yesterday, Green Party Minister James Shaw has effectively raised the carbon price to $35.00.

Probably one could reasonably argue that there’s no good time to raise business costs like this, so the best time to send strong signals on which way the economy should shift is when it’s slowed right down and is seeking fresh direction. Like right now. it’s not like business confidence or investor confidence could get much worse.

The bill says we’ve got a carbon budget of 354 million tonnes from 2021 to 2025, and a new cap on the ETS of 160 million tonnes. The Commission will review that next year.

But there’s seeing wood, and then there’s seeing trees.

The forestry policy provisions of the bill get deferred to 2024 so that foresters can figure themselves out, and it delays penalties for small foresters. In fact there’s a fair few carve-outs for small foresters. Quite possibly these carve-outs are related to the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) bill which is also going through the House. Jones is working to try and save what is left of our local processing, rather than treating the forest industry as a tradable carbon sink.

Jones’ bill is about as loved as Shaw’s one. I cannot figure for the life of me how one bill that greatly enables the international trade in logs and forests is assisted by another bill that seeks to limit international trade in logs to ensure domestic building supply.

But now for the good news.

Sustainable farming gets a good funding shot in the arm today from Minister Damien O’Connor.

In particular, $28m for the whole horticulture industry to wean themselves off harmful crop protection practices.

Horticulture NZ explains it here.

Also due for voting before the House rises is Damien O’Connor’s proposed law for a consistent and binding definition of what “organic” means when you purchase a product with that label.

With that will come a regulatory system which is intended to more than pay for itself, so it will have funding to spend.

I hear submissions from all players including Organics NZ are now pretty consistent, and the Select Committee will get it into parliament in reasonably short order.

On balance that’s a pretty weird day for the agricultural environment out of this government.

 

4 comments on “The wood, the trees and the ETS ”

  1. Just as Land use has changed over generations, and the need for employment which enriches our local communities has caused Governments to choose those products and land use which suits the times and time frames.

    In my life I have seen coal mines developed, stumps burning for days and piles of stumps pulled out also burned, where giants of our bush had been cut down to provide grazing for sheep and milking cows.

    During World War two, coal was a protected and important industry. Burning huge piles of native tree stumps was also considered necessary. Values change over time, and as our understanding of the damage to the environment occurs we change our behaviours.

    Sometimes there will be a conflict of interests. The Government role is to balance these. Not an easy task.

    Jones wants more timber for local milling and a greater use of our own timber here to off set concrete, to create local jobs and build up rural communities. Vested interests gaining high prices from overseas buyers do not want to supply the local market.

    This Government tries to mitigate immediate effects, and at first glance this may look contrary.

  2. gsays 2

    28 million for crop protection sounds like a good idea. The R&D spend in most industries fails to carry weight as the shareholders executives and accountants have a fairly short term, balance sheet approach to business.

    Hopefully there isn't too much wheel reinvention, or taking a very high tech avenue to something that can be achieved by old fashioned practices eg companion planting, good soil health, moisture levels etc.

  3. Tricledrown 3

    If we don't import fuel our balances of payments would always in the positive.

    Industrial farming is not sustainabull.

    More and more farmers are moving to more sustainable farming as it requires less labour and money to maintain healthy pasture.

    Buying into corporate agrochemical overstocking is very costly tractors ploughing spraying with glyphosate adding fertilizers and supplementary feed from nasty regimes.

    Selling sustainable food is the future.

    Droughts are here on a regular basis now sheep and cattle need a lot of food to make a few kilograms of protein.

    Drought resist crops and horticulture should be forced on areas that now have regular droughts its futile to do the same thing if you only making a profit every 3 or 4 years when maybe olives or wine macadamia nuts .

    Like refrigerated cargo came about we were able to sell.meat on the other side of the world.not a lot has changed in farmers thinking since then.

    The European Olive Crop has been decimated from drought and disease ,we need to jump in quickly and plant the disease resistant strain .

    Having more trees and shelter helps reduce air temperature considerably

    NZ needs a massive shake up in farming and adding value if the govt is going to spend billions on propping jobs it also needs to spend a couple of billion plus on helping farming become more sustainable for farmers to continuously profit and get out of the commodity cycles

  4. I agree Tricledown, we need to be looking for ways to improve our land use and the food produced should be quality food and we need to learn techniques used in dryer climates, as parts of NZ are going to be much dryer from now on.
    Sadly we have not learned much about the use of trees in companion planting and creating micro climates.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Worsening housing crisis must prompt action
    A growing public housing waiting list and continued increase of house prices must be urgently addressed by Government, Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today. ...
    17 hours ago
  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago