New Zealand was very badly served by the people who negotiated our commitments to reducing carbon emissions under the first Kyoto Protocol.
Trade & Associate Climate Change Minister Tim Groser is doing his best to ensure a better deal, not just for New Zealand but the global environment in the next round of negotiations.
The ODT’s Agribusiness editor Neal Wallace has a comprehensive interview with Groser in which he speaks of the need to include developing countries in future agreements, for scientific solutions to reduce agricultural emissions, and the importance of food security.
He also spoke of the risk to trade:
International climate change and trade liberalisation policies were linked, he said, but equally there could be a distortion in international trade.
A carbon tax or emissions trading scheme imposed in one country could result in carbon leakage, or another country retaliating by imposing tariffs and other trade restrictions, he said.
“Simply, I suspect that those politicians in various countries who today believe there is a simple fix to carbon leakage through unilaterally imposed carbon-tax adjustment do not actually intend to put a time-bomb under the world trading system.
“But there is no doubt in my mind that that is the risk.”
Regardless of whether the climate is changing and human induced emissions are contributing to it, the international politics require us to be seen to be doing our part to reduce them.
At least with Groser in charge, there’s hope that any agreements won’t wreck the economy without helping the environment which is what the original agreement would do.
You can read the interview here.