John Key turns climate conference into a trade barrier negotiation

Most recent available OECD figures on fuel subsidies

Most recent available OECD figures on fuel subsidies

Prime Minister John Key has led a call at the Paris climate change conference for an end to inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, but Australia has baulked at backing it.

Mr Key is one of about 150 world leaders at the United Nations conference, which began on Monday with most of them making opening addresses.

Mr Key said Paris must produce a meaningful agreement.

“New Zealand wants a deal that puts the world on a pathway towards limiting global temperature rise to no more than 2C,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Key presented a message to the UN from close to 40 nations calling for the removal of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies – which research suggested could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 percent.

Countries subsidised fossil fuels to the tune of US$500 billion ($NZ765b) in 2014, he said.

“These subsidies have the perverse effect of encouraging businesses and consumers to burn more fossil fuel and create more emissions.

“It makes no sense to be calling for emissions reductions on one hand, while subsidising emissions on the other.”

It has been endorsed by countries including France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Samoa, the United Kingdom and the US.

Fossil fuel subsidies are no different to tariffs, except that the low cost of the fuel affect the whole supply chain pretty early on.  By lobbying for its removal in our export markets, they will have the effect of increasing the cost of doing business, and thereby making it more competitive for our exports.

It’s a pretty good strategy – talk climate, get improved trading conditions.

No wonder the Greens don’t like it.


– NZN via 3 News

Do you want:

  • ad-free access?
  • access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • access to Incite Politics magazine articles?

Silver subscriptions and above go in the draw to win a $500 prize to be drawn at the end of March.

Not yet one of our awesome subscribers? Click Here and join us.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.