National’s proposed amendments to the ETS

John Key has announced what he is intending to do about the ridiculous emissions trading scheme. Just as I suspected, he is just fiddling round the edges. He would making a dumb expensive scheme that does nothing for the environment into a dumb nearly-as-expensive scheme that does even less.

In the first 9 months we will amend the emissions trading scheme. The second thing is that we want to put balance into the scheme so balancing our environmental responsibilities with our economic opportunities. Thirdly we need to ensure that the scheme is fiscally neutral so that it’s not a big moneymaking device for the government and thirdly that it’s got some either regard or respect for schemes that are similar around the world, where we could be at a competitive disadvantage, particularly Australia.

So all the changes that we are looking at a forestry offset scheme to allow forestry to be a bigger part of the solution. Some specific changes like ensuring that there is 90% grandfathering provision for fishing which at the moment is currently zero would change to 50%. There are other aspects that we are looking at. For instance the current scheme has a linear phase out of the credits from about 2018 depending when they come in the scheme. We think it should be more flexibility when it is phased out. Fourthly it is about getting I think getting the right incentives in that scheme so for instance take farming. In Australia agriculture comes in 2015. In New Zealand it comes in 2013 at 90% their historical allocation and then by 2018 it’s reduced. In Australia they are saying let’s be flexible about that and I am just saying I think we have got to make sure we have a scheme that reflects the need to be more flexible.

Once again, showing why we need the Family Party and Act to knock some sense into the new government.

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