Ag entry to ETS postponed to 2015

Changes to the ETS announced by the government are designed to maintain incentives for emission reductions, without loading large extra costs onto households, employers and exporters.

“Today’s decisions are a reflection of the balanced and responsible approach this Government has taken to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  They offer Kiwi exporters, employers and households certainty in a challenging and changing world economy,” Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser says. . .

“We have considered in-depth the recommendations of the ETS Review Panel, listened to what those affected by the ETS are saying, and reviewed what our trading partners are doing.  We also considered feedback through community consultation, including written submissions, a series of regional meetings, and hui.

“The National-led Government remains committed to doing its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it is worth noting that we are the only country outside Europe with a comprehensive ETS.  In these times of uncertainty, the Government has opted not to pile further costs on to households and the productive sector.

“The Government remains an active and engaged participant in the on-going discussions focused on global agreements, and the changes announced today offer us useful flexibility to adapt in the future, while still demonstrating our commitment to doing our fair share,” says Mr Groser.

Not surprisingly the left reckon this is disastrous.

However, Business NZ says the government has taken a reasonably balanced approach to carbon pricing in its amendments.

The protections – companies having to surrender carbon units for only half the carbon they emit, and a cap of $25 per tonne in the price of emissions –recognise the fact that New Zealand is ahead of most of the world in accepting a price on carbon.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says the changes will maintain incentives for emissions reduction while shoring up New Zealand companies’ ability to compete against companies in other countries.

“The move recognises the financial constraints not only on businesses but also on consumers.  It guards against increases in the price of electricity and fuel that would otherwise occur because of an unequal international playing field.

“This is not a softening of the ETS.  The changes announced today will not reduce the costs currently faced by New Zealand business and consumers.

“We should remember that the current cost of carbon, although relatively low, is still more than is being faced by our trade competitors, and will doubtless increase as the global economy recovers.

“While these amendments do not make the environment harder for business, neither do they make it easier.  Moreover the frequent reviewing of the scheme’s design also loads uncertainty costs onto New Zealand business.

 Federated Farmers says the changes, which include delaying the entry of agriculture into the scheme, are one step towards reality:

The New Zealand Emissions Trading scheme (ETS) has taken a big step towards forward, yet remains the harshest treatment of any agricultural production system on earth.

“The Government realises even tougher measures would hurt not just agriculture but the wider economy,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Vice-President and climate change spokesperson.

“Both our Chief Executive, Conor English, at the Rio+20 Earth Summit  and our President, Bruce Wills, at the World Farmers Organisation, got the same message; targeting primary food production in ETS-type policies is anathema to sustainable primary food production.

“In a world preoccupied with the survival of their economies and with food security, there is no point in trying to lead where others will not follow.

“Yes biological emissions account for some 47 percent of New Zealand’s emissions profile.  They also represent 68.1 percent of our merchandise exports and indeed, 100 percent of the food we eat. 

“New Zealand is able to not only feed itself, but produces enough food to feed populations equivalent of Sri Lanka. 

“This is why it is positive the Government has listened to Federated Farmers and will keep agricultural biological emissions out of the ETS until at least 2015. 

“We have retained the one-for-two surrender obligation we asked for, along with the $25 fixed price option. Federated Farmers also wanted offsetting for pre-1990 forests and opposed the reduction of pre-1990 forest allocations. The Government has listened to that too, but those who do offset will be penalised. 

“We are pleased the Government has chosen not to further complicate matters by imposing additional restrictions on the importation of overseas emissions units.

“Despite what some Opposition parties are likely to say following these changes, our ETS remains the harshest on any agricultural production system, anywhere in the world. 

“Unlike other countries where agriculture is given special treatment, farmers here, just like every other business and family, pay the ETS on the fuel and energy we use.  This not only impacts a farm’s bottom line, but the cost of turning what we produce into finished goods for export.   

“Australia’s new Carbon Tax is really aimed at Australia’s 300 largest companies.  Meanwhile, Australian farmers are being financially rewarded for boosting soil carbon levels on-farm. 

“Since 1 January, all agricultural processors in New Zealand have been filing emission returns accounting for agricultural biological emissions.  We are still counting emissions no other government is contemplating, including our cousins across the Tasman.

“While agriculture emissions here grew 9.4 percent between 1990 and 2010, the dollar value these generated for NZ Inc exploded almost five-fold.  Our sector’s emission growth needs to be put into context alongside a 59 percent increase in electricity emissions and 60 percent for transport.

“What’s more former Labour Cabinet Minister, the Hon David Caygill, found emissions in every single unit of agricultural product have fallen some 1.3 percent each year, for the past 20 years. 

“We do not need an ETS to improve our productivity.  Global competition has done that for us. 

“That New Zealand’s farmers are among the world’s most carbon efficient, is an inconvenient truth New Zealanders are not hearing from Opposition politicians. 

“We can do more but that will be through productivity gains and research leadership exemplified by the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

“In a world of increasing food deficit, our hope is for Opposition parties to realise being a carbon efficient food exporter is global leadership,” Dr Rolleston concluded.

The Kyoto Protocol was the triumph of politics and bureaucracy over science and negotiations have yet to reach agreement on its successor.

There is nothing to be gained for the environment and a lot to be lost from the economy if agriculture is forced into the scheme when none of our competitors faces similar costs.

25 Responses to Ag entry to ETS postponed to 2015

  1. robertguyton says:

    It’s entirely unsurprising that National have granted farmers exemption from paying their ETS bills and have instead passed the $80 million tab to the general taxpayer.
    It’s exactly what was expected.
    Ordinary New Zealanders can surely afford the extra $80 million – after all, these are good times economically, aren’t they? We’ve all got oodles of cash lying about waiting to be spent on someone else’s behalf, haven’t we?
    Why should the farming community, by their own admission flush with cash in these times of great demand for their goods, have to pay for the bill that they are racking-up?
    Joe Public can pick up that tab, according to Mr Key.
    Sound fair to you?

    http://robertguyton.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/farmers-given-free-pass-taxpayers-pick.html

    Like

  2. Andrei says:

    The reason why farmers shouldn’t pay the bill Robert Guyton is that the ETS is theft – it is a corrupt scam, as corrupt as anything you will find in a third world kleptocracy whereby the productive elements of society ie those who actually make things that people want to buy, are soaked to feed parasitic urban types who produce nothing but bullshit.

    The fact thet National didn’t scrap the whole thing is reason to hold the National party in contempt, more so because when labour originally foisted this treasonous scam upon us John Key said in parliament that he didn’t believe in this nonsense.

    However on obtaining the treasury benches he saw that he had to feed the vested interests behind this parasitic theft and showed that he has the substance and spine of a jellyfish

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  3. robertguyton says:

    “substance and spine of a jellyfish”

    I love it when you get heated, Andrei.

    Truth will out.

    Like

  4. willdwan says:

    Lies come too easily to you Guyton. Agriculture’s so-called emissions are a gross measurement, they ignore the fact that the carbon came from the atmosphere in the first place. And NZ taxpayers do NOT have the ‘bill’ passed to them. It simply is not included in the calculation, the same as EVERY other country in the world. Your loathing of productive people is driven by envy and your own sense of inadequacy.

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  5. robertguyton says:

    willdwan – ad hominem is so out of fashion in these enlightened times and coupled with your mistaken thinking makes your contribution seem pointless. “Agricultures so-called emissions”?
    So-called? Are you joking us? Agriculture’s emissions are real, willdwan, even the most vehement opponent acknowledges that though not you, it seems. Basic science, commonsense even, makes it clear that , as Bruce Wills says, ““Yes biological emissions account for some 47 percent of New Zealand’s emissions profile.”
    Deny that if you will, willdwan, and call it lies, but you’ll have few supporters.
    How about the words of John Key, who “verified taxpayers would have to pick up the $80 million tab as a result of the reprieve for business and farmers.” Do you regard him as a liar too? It seems you do.
    Your argument is weaker than weasel wees, willdwan. Notice I didn’t belittle you, only your vacuous argument. That’s what modern thinkers do.

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  6. Wildwan, none of that’s true.

    We have a kyoto liability, since agriculture is not paying for their emissions general taxation will.

    I’m not entirely sure what “came from the atmosphere in the first place” means – but if you’re referring to the former head of the Fed. Famers claim that methane is carbon neutral I’m afraid you are wrong.

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  7. Andrei says:

    “Yes biological emissions account for some 47 percent of New Zealand’s emissions profile.”

    Yes Robert – it is called the “carbon cycle” and it has been powering life on this planet since photosynthesis first evolved about 4 billion years ago.

    Works like this, plants combine CO2 from the atmosphere with water using the energy of sunlight to create sugars and starches.

    Animals, such as cows, sheep and people for that matter eat the plants and use the energy originally derived from the sunlight but now held in chemical bonds by breaking those bonds and “emitting” water vapour and CO2 in the process.

    The CO2 thus emitted is becomes available again for plants to use to store solar energy which can be used to power sheep, cattle and people so that they can go about their daily business of doing whatever it is that sheep, cattle and people do.

    Perhaps it is all an exercise in pointless futility and we should return the Earth to its pristine state by sterilizing it of all life forms – who knows?

    In the meantime, I’m here and am somewhat attached to my children, even though they be emitters of GHGs and for selfish reasons no doubt, invested in seeing them prosper and flourish

    Like

  8. That’s a nice story Andrei, but carbon-cycle CO2 isn’t included in the ETS…

    Like

  9. robertguyton says:

    Yoiks!

    Andrei’s gone nuclear!

    Like

  10. Andrei says:

    Overly literal David Winter.

    I know their a pointy heads going around counting molecules of methane and N2O and telling us how these terrible “pollutants” are melting the North Pole – a fairy story if there ever was one.

    Have you ever asked yourself why nobody is measuring the emission of these “pollutants” by hippopotami on the Limpopo River?

    Or by blue whales in the southern Ocean?

    Or ever tried to figure out the emissions profile of brontosauri of the Jurassic?

    Because there is no way of stealing money by knowing the answers to these questions so there is no percentage in asking them

    Like

  11. Of course, people have measured methane production by hippos. A hippo produces about a third as much methane as a domestic cow. There are 1.3 billion cows and ~150 000 hippos.

    Like

  12. willdwan says:

    The passage of time is showing global warming up as a myth with no need of help from me. My particular concern is with the lie that New Zealand tax-payers are somehow subsidising the productive sector. The Greens are trying to exploit Goebbels’ dictum,”A lie repeated often enough soon becomes truth in the minds of the people.” Presumably these awful drudges hope to turn farmers into a scape-goat that they can exploit in their quest for power

    New Zealand is one of the most heavily indebted nations in the world, our little country is in real trouble. Why on earth are you people so hell-bent on sabotaging its economic engine? What can be gained from such madness? You would do better to try producing something yourself, try and lend a hand at least!

    Robert, I would not joke with you; you are the joke, and I couldn’t give a rat’s nonny if that’s an ad hominem.

    Like

  13. robertguyton says:

    1.3billioncows?
    Nah, we don’t need to factor those in. Their contribution will be minuscule.
    Hippos, on the other hand – bloody hippos! Ruining the climate.
    Blue whales too.

    Like

  14. robertguyton says:

    Why, willdwan, should we attend to our greenhouse emissions?
    If you haven’t seen it yet, my waving the facts under your nose isn’t going to help you, so I’ll refrain.
    What on earth is a nonny?
    Are you a teenager? No slight meant, some teenagers have a good grasp of reality but nonny isn’t a phrase that I’ve heard in adult company.

    Like

  15. jabba says:

    The Gweens refuse to acknowledge that any ETS/Carbon Trading scheme is a threat to thousands of jobs in this country and would reduce our ability to generate
    much needed foreign currency that actually pays for all our needs.
    These people simply don’t care that many companies are up against imports from the likes of our global competitors such as China, Korea & Japan who have a poor environmental record.
    The Gweens, and indeed the Clark Labour Govt, wanted to be leaders in this area .. Yeah right.

    Like

  16. Andrei says:

    Creative accounting David Winter – climate science is about as scientific as voodoo.

    It is all about the non productive classes finding ways to suck at the teat of the productive.

    Methane huh – what about all the freaking swamps belching “GHGs” into the atmosphere.

    Try claiming carbon credits for draining a swamp to turn into pasture and see how far you get.

    And natural gas bubbling up all over the planet from ancient sources.

    Methane of course was once a major component of the atmosphere til the plants came along and polluted the air with oxygen which of course reacts with methane to break it down – polluting green plants released the toxic gas oxygen in vast quantities into the air which causes forest fires and our cars to rust.

    Without plants the air could go back to its original state methane ammonia and so forth.

    Ban photosynthesising plants return the Earth to its pristine state, I say.

    Like

  17. jabba says:

    the Gweens will want baked beans banned next

    Like

  18. Swamps are actually quite tricky – some are such could carbon sinks that they account for their own methane quite happily. It doesn’t really matter of course, the only question is will reducing anthropogenic methane emission lessen the impact of climate change. It will, so we ought to do something about it.

    I won’t pretend to understand what the rest of that comment is about.

    Like

  19. Andrei says:

    None of it matters when it comes down to it David Winter,

    The Earth’s climate is a dynamic and evolving thing – even if we had a Dictator who ruled the Earth it could not be controlled and made to conform to whatever ideal the eggheads. decided it should conform to.

    There are at least two wrong assumptions that underlie your position.

    (1) That there is some average temperature that is the natural value for the Earth

    (2) That any divergence from this assumed underlying value is by necessity detrimental to all of humanity.

    And of course the idea that levies and taxes can act as a thermostat to control the thermodynamic temperature of the earth is in the realms of the utterly absurd – but then our political elites are completely degraded and believe all sorts of absurd things when it suits them

    Like

  20. Neither of your “assumptions” are required for us to take action on climate change. All we have to do is look forward and take responsibility for our actions.

    Like

  21. Will says:

    How carefully you avoid my arguments Robert. I have no interest in your climate delusions. My concern is with the lies you are trying to propagate about tax subsidies for NZ farmers. That and the Groans other Achilles’ heel, the economic insanity of hamstringing the world’s most efficient food producers, when NOBODY else is even considering such stupidity.

    For your further edification, “nonny” is a local colloquialism meaning arse. Don’t ask for its etymology.

    Like

  22. robertguyton says:

    Will – you had no argument.
    Re: nonny – I don’t believe you.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nonny

    Like

  23. Andrei says:

    Neither of your “assumptions” are required for us to take action on climate change,

    “Climate Change” is a complex phenomenon with many factors to be taken into account probably in the hundreds of billions or more if the truth be known – including no doubt hippopotamus flatulence.

    Something that is well beyond even the greatest of the great scientists to grasp and describe in a meaningful manner such that it would allow prediction or any meaningful “action” to be taken.

    Of course “climate science” is the intellectual hovel where otherwise non entity scoundrels make their intellectual homes, safe because thieving politicians have need of excuses to tax the peasantry and bestow beneficences upon those to whom they are beholden.

    Taking action means in the real world taking money from the productive and transferring it to parasites.

    It does nothing to change anything except to make the poor poorer.

    I have more faith in astrology than in so called climate science when it is used to drive public policy

    Like

  24. JC says:

    RG,

    You obviously didn’t read definition No 2 in your cite 🙂

    JC

    Like

  25. robertguyton says:

    Ah, Nonny! Unforgettable!

    Like

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