There's some good news for our farmer friends in this morning's Herald; check this out:
The Government has confirmed it plans to delay the extension of the emissions trading scheme to agriculture.In a consultation paper released yesterday it outlines its response to last year's review of the ETS chaired by David Caygill.The review recommended bringing agriculture into the scheme in 2015 as the current legislation requires.But the Climate Change Minister at the time, Nick Smith, said agricultural emissions, which make up nearly half the national total, would be included only if practical technologies were available to enable farmers to reduce livestock emissions and if enough progress were made by New Zealand's trading partners to reduce their emissions.The discussion document reiterated those conditions and said a review would be undertaken, to report in 2014 on whether they had been met."To enable the results of this review to be implemented the Government proposes to include the power to defer the entry of these agricultural gases [methane and nitrous oxide] by up to three years."
Regular readers will remember that we were critical of the government's decision to push ahead with its own ETS after it came to power in 2008. We posted this on the day that National's version (admittedly far less penal than Labour's pervious iteration) came into force:
We're not going to dignify the Emissions Trading Scheme with a lengthy dissertation on the reasons why we oppose it; we've done that to death. It comes into force today, and we are deeply disappointed at the government's decision to proceed with it.
Labour's opposition though is somewhat hypocritical, given that the one that they rushed through under urgency before the 48th Parliament adjourned would have been far more punitive.
And there's some real hyperbole out there; to hear the bloke from Budget Services on Breakfast say that as from today "people will be afraid to turn their power on" stretches credibility.
John Key and Nick Smith; this is NOT your finest hour.
Agriculture is the backbone of our economy. Imposing an additional tax on our farmers will be conterproductive, and will have a significant effect on the export sector which is crucial to our ongoing economic recovery.
We believe that the science that underpins climate change/AGW or whatever you want to call it is far from settled. We're happy to be labelled a climate change sceptic; it's a small price to pay for saying what we believe.