NZ Green Party
One week left to submit on flawed ETS

I’m using Nick Smith’s own words from last year because they are so suitable. This Government’s ETS legislation is so flawed and so rushed that it will require significant amendments after the election to make it workable.

In the meantime, the rushed consultation period is coming to a close, hot on the heels of the urgency motion that created this fat invoice to the taxpayer.

In summary, the Government is moving fast to emasculate the already weak ETS and turn it into a subsidy programme for big polluters. You only have until Tuesday 13 October 2009 to have your say.

Use the Green Party ETS Submission Guide to help you get your head around the issue and have your say.

The Guide gives you a simple how-to for making a submission, and highlights some of the bigger issues with the National-Maori Party ETS Bill. We encourage everyone to use this as a starting point and add any other issues that you feel are important. The Bill is so flawed we couldn’t possibly cover them all!

19 thoughts on “One week left to submit on flawed ETS

  1. I think they will have to be brave to invite me :-)

    Changing the ETS into a subsidy of big industry that will accomplish
    nothing is not a notion that should be discarded lightly… It
    should be hurled with great force.

    Providing intensity-based allocations means that there is effectively
    NO market signal for the economy to heed. Using taxpayer money to
    insulate industry from its responsibilities means industry has no
    incentive to alter its behaviour. It has no costs to pass on to us,
    so we have no incentive to alter our behaviour. It places us in the
    invidious position of subsidizing industry emissions through our tax
    system. THIS IS NOT THE PURPOSE OF AN ETS!!! It is a purpose
    someone has perverted this ETS to serve. It is loathsome and I
    object to it in the STRONGEST possible terms.

    Capping the price of carbon to avoid having those incentives is no
    wiser, and giving certain industries a 2 for 1 discount borders on
    total insanity. The word “Cap” in “Cap and Trade” refers to a cap on
    emissions, not a cap on prices. There must be a REAL price put on
    the commons, and it must be sufficient to deter the misuse and abuse
    of the planet for short term gains. This idea voids the entire
    reasoning behind the ETS.

    Encouraging industry in New Zealand is important. Subsidizing the
    destruction of the environment is important to avoid. Mistaking one
    for the other, as this bill does, cannot be excused… and making the
    subsidy come out of the general revenue (my taxes) is even less
    excusable.

    Any future government will be forced to change this, so this bill in
    its current form guarantees uncertainty and that is bad for business
    in any case.

    Short-sighted, self-serving, slipshod… all of the
    virtues of the worst legislation in memory and damaging to the planet
    in the bargain. I am offended that such a failure of reason is even
    presented for comment.

    We, as a planet, have to cut emissions by at least 80% by 2050 to
    have a chance of avoiding the worst of the worst. Clearly, subsidies
    (allocations) for emissions need to be phased out completely before
    then, but are not. Delaying the phase-out of agricultural subsidies
    is similarly flawed, and the cost to the taxpayer is immense.

    All gases, all sectors, polluter pays. If the cost is passed on to
    the consumer, that is FINE, that’s how it is supposed to work. The
    market will adjust to the price.

    We don’t have the indigenous forestry properly counted. It would be
    a good idea to listen to and include the Parliamentary Commissioner
    for the Environment’s recommendations fully.

    In particular there should be a full accounting – publication, of the
    number and values of allocations distributed. You intend to give
    away taxpayer money in this manner, it must be accounted for fully.

    In summary I must conclude that this bill was drafted for and by
    members who are supported by specific industries. That it represents
    the worst possible form of corruption of process that legislation can
    suffer, and that there are people involved in this who have extremely
    flawed notions of scientific fact and moral responsibility. It is
    that bad.

    It is not a bill, it is an indictment of persons I cannot
    even name. Anonymous contributors and influences on the process.

    You have to do better. It seems not possible that you could do
    worse, or cost the taxpayers of the country more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 (+4)

  2. My submission:

    Hi

    I oppose the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill, mostly because of the intensity based allocation. Intensity based allocation offers polluters little incentive to reduce emissions, instead it merely provides an incentive not to emit any more (as a ratio of production) than they do already. So if production goes up then emissions can also, as long as emissions only go up by the same amount. Further, when this happens the taxpayer will pick up the tab for the extra emissions as this ETS only allocates carbon within NZ and we (the country as a whole) will still need to meet our international obligations.

    These changes gut the existing ETS to be more favourable to polluters, by handing out massive and unsustainable production-based subsidies to them, while capping the price they will immediately pay for it – destroying the incentive for forestry, our biggest source of potential reductions.

    Also, under the existing law, allocation decisions must be made openly and are subject to extensive consultation – meaning that we get to see how much the government wants to give away and to whom (and object if necessary). Now, allocation decisions are made in secret; there is still a duty to “consult”, but that means the usual business of talking with industry insiders rather than an open, transparent public process. The upshot: more room for corruption in allocation decisions. And with billions of dollars at stake, that is not something we can afford.

    By 2030, $2 billion dollars will be being given to polluters each year. $2 billion is serious money. Even discounting it back into today’s money ($1.32 billion assuming 2% inflation), we’re talking more money than the cost of ACC or the prison system, about a third of the education budget, or the entire cost of the police, given away each year to polluters. It is simply impossible that the public will allow this situation to continue for long. Especially as with the economy how it is, we will need to borrow that money *at interest* to give to the polluters.

    Thank you for your time

    Rimu

    Thanks to the norightturn blog for most of the content :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 (+3)

  3. rimu;- is your post a call for matching Japan’s -20 by the year 1020?
    Or are the bucket-heads probably right in looking at the global map and shouting “Yep! Eff all We can do….”
    ps; a brave will see Nick off easy…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  4. bjchip – don’t hold back! Your assessment is accurate and pointed. Stick them with it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  5. GreenFly

    The entire process is designed to create an ETS that costs a great deal and does nothing. A tax applied, which the taxpayers will clearly see, and no results to show for it.

    This is not accidental. I want to know who is behind it. I want it exposed to the public for the sham it is.

    Of all the people involved however, the Maori Party is the group I am most seriously concerned about.

    ACT is doing what they are programmed to do, and National has never been anything but a slave to business… but the Maori party did something wholly unexpectable. They sold out Aotearoa. The reasoning for this cannot be understood by me.

    Anyone who has any understanding they can share about how they were co-opted by National, I would appreciate your thoughts.

    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  6. I’m sure that whatever it is the Maori party got given will show itself in time

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  7. The Maori Party see the powerhouse of the Maori people in fisheries, forestry and farming. That’s what they are wrangling for – protection of those fields – that’s where their wealth is. That’s the ground they share with National. Tariana’s the Kaiwhakahaere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  8. Which leaves me still wondering what they see in the modified ETS which gives them nothing and reduces the value of their Forests and gives them fixed allocations while the other industries get twofer deals.

    I had fun in my 10 minutes. Russel was there. John Boscowen… others I don’t recognize. Was generally OK, though I think they are not used to having people calling a bill an indictment. The guy from Forest and Bird was good. Major good points about the value of the native vegetation and how poorly we account for it.

    The guy from the coal industry said that the purpose of the legislation was to protect industry competitiveness. I was tempted to hammer the point in terms of arguing with him… but stuck to my message instead. Seemed well received.

    There was a guy (I didn’t hear him present, but I think I scared him a little). He seemed to think that all of global warming was based on volcanoes under the ice in Antarctica and underwater in the Arctic… I hope I didn’t scare him… too much :-) I don’t think he quite got that we needed to discuss the bill, not the science.

    respectfully
    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  9. Recognising Boscawen is easy enough – the lammington gives him away every time!

    The Coal Industry guy called it the way it is!

    Either the Maori Party know something we don’t, or they’re daft.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  10. Naah, I thought my time slot would be better used by someone else. I didn’t have anything really new to add

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  11. I just wanted them to get a little nervous about how angry they were making some of us. They actually should be a little nervous… given what they’re trying to do.

    I hope the party gets on top of this… make it clear to everyone that this bill in its current form is actually a stratagem to force us to accept no bill whatsoever.

    Think about it. Make the taxpayers pay the expenses. Remove the basic mechanism by which any CO2 emitting behaviour is modified. This ensures that in a year or two they can point at it and say “See, look how much it cost, and it did nothing”… and the businesses pocket the dough in the meantime.

    Then the country overwhelmingly votes to get rid of the stupid thing and we’re back to square minus 3.

    That’s their plan folks. The only way to stop it is to make it clear to the public that that is what they are up to. Then the blame can be fairly dropped on THEIR heads. One imagines that they were when they were children.

    I do wonder what Russel thought of the fireworks though…

    respectfully
    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  12. It may be a way to deliver to tax cuts to business (credits for improved energy use per production unit), while we are borrowing money. Not that it will increase debt if the general public (and some businesses not able to gain these credits) meet the cost of doing this.

    It’s all carrot incentive for businesses able to reduce energy use per production unit and all stick punishment to make “green economics” unpopular with the rest of us. In any system of government, in any form of economics, there are always those who get the rules bent to suit themselves most of all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  13. I haven’t been following the antics of the Maori Party over this ETS bill too closely but I was of the understanding that they agreed to support the bill through its first reading. They haven’t agreed (as far as I know) to actually pass the bill. It isn’t too late for them to oppose the bill if the forestry sector doesn’t get a better treatment.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  14. bj said: Make the taxpayers pay the expenses. Remove the basic mechanism by which any CO2 emitting behaviour is modified.

    Perhaps the taxpayers will be heartily sickened once they learn of the evil machination and will roar, rather than squeak!

    Perhaps…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

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