If the answer involves more bureaucrats, consultants, lawyers and the potential for third parties to make most of the money, you’ve asked the wrong question.
That is at the root of the problem with the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme which parliament is considering.
The bureaucrats, consultants, lawyers and brokers will do well out of the ETS. But it is doubtful if the scheme will have a measurable impact on domestic emissions and, if businesses move out of New Zealand, it may well increase global emissions.
The ODT has a contrary view:
The Bill that is now proceeding through the House is a compromise, but one with much to commend it, although in itself the immediate effect of the legislation amounts to little enough.
But it also says:
The Bill can only be regarded as a starting mechanism, a small beginning for what will become a highly complicated and probably very expensive response to a scientific theory, and one that will have an economic impact on every household and business in the land, although it will have very little impact in reducing global warming.
So what’s the point if it’s going to do so much harm and very little good? Shouldn’t we, as Tariana Turia said last week, be aiming at emissions reduction rather than emissions trading?
It is folly to sabotage the economy at a high social cost for little or no environmental gain but that’s the ridiculous answer Labour and its allies are imposing on us because they started by asking the wrong question.