End of the Golden Weather?

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions, is being reviewed this year.

A briefing paper produced for the Government by the Ministry for the Environment said it expected the review to consider agriculture’s entry into the scheme.

A ministry spokeswoman said this did not amount to a recommendation to the Government and was simply a comment on the scope of the review. The terms of reference had not yet been determined by the Cabinet, she said.

About half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. The ministry’s briefing paper said there were few options for reducing these apart from cutting stock numbers.

It warned that the ETS was not having a significant impact on emissions and changes would be needed.

The scheme is the Government’s main tool for addressing emissions that contribute to climate change, requiring industry to pay a charge for each tonne of emissions.

It was originally proposed that agriculture would be included in the ETS but when National came into power it delayed this. National later postponed agriculture’s entry into the ETS indefinitely, instead funding research on lowering farmers’ emissions.

The ministry’s paper said this research was “unlikely to produce significant gains in the short term”.

It has always been my stance that the whole ETS is part of an international scam, and that New Zealand should play no part in it. ? Of course, there are political pressures, and paying just enough lip service does the trick for the most part.

However, the fact farmers have had a free pass while other industries have had to shoulder the invisible tax burden is something that needs to be reviewed. ?Preferably not by making farmers pay but by removing the ETS from everyone else.

That is unlikely however, in which case the remaining answer is for farmers to cough up their share of the money. ? Not doing so basically amounts to an industry subsidy, something that we as a country are apparently against when we are trying to sell our own exports into overseas markets.


– Isaac Davison, A newspaper