The majority report from the review on the ETS has 34 recommendations and four parties have issued minority reports.
The recommendation for agriculture is:
For the agriculture sector, while it is preferable in the long term for the point of obligation to be at the farm gate, we recommend that it is initially set at the processor. Placing the point of obligation at the farm gate means regulating more emitters directly, with higher transaction and administration costs. However, it may also encourage them to respond more readily to a price signal. Therefore, it is desirable for the point of obligation to initially be set at the processor level, which would place obligations on only a small number of firms. The price impacts are likely to be passed through to farmers.
Of course the costs will be passed through to farmers. The alternative is to pass them on to consumers and as none of our competitors will be including agriculture in their ETS that would price our produce out of the market.
But whether its processors or farmers who pay, what difference will it make to emissions? It would be far better to put any money into research rather than an ETS.
As for the rest of the report, dog’s breakfast is the phrase which comes to mind. But I’m not sure that anything more could have been achieved when there are so many different perspectives and conflicting views.
Even the people who accept that the climate is changing and it is being caused by human activity have a wide range of differing opinions on what could and should be done about it.
Regardless of whether or not the science is settled, the politics is and we have to be seen to addressing the issue.
But there are no easy answers when the whole Kyoto protocol appears to have a lot more to do with increasing bureaucracy and taxes than reducing carbon emissions.
It might help if someone could explain how an ETS will have a positive impact on the environment without wrecking the economy.
I’d also like to know where the money will go and what will be done with it when it gets there.
Kiwiblog summarises the main recommendations of the majority report and the four minority ones.