Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


ECO Backs Greens Emissions Policy

Policy Stability, greater economic efficiency and better environmental outcomes expected from Green’s climate policy package

The Green’s climate policy is an important proposal to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the most important issue for the future which all political parties should be treating seriously, the Environment and Conservation Organisations (ECO) said today.

University policy economist, Cath Wallace, and ECO Vice-Chair, Policy, has welcomed the Green Party’s new policy package for greenhouse gas emission reductions and its fostering of better economic efficiency.

”The policy ticks the boxes for economic orthodoxy, for economic efficiency, for providing clear incentives to de-carbonise investments, and to help households with tax cuts that provide an increase in income that more than compensates for any price rises.” “It is good policy,” says Wallace.

“The Green’s policy would re-set incentives to get New Zealanders to reduce ouremissions which have been rising relentlessly even though we have promised the international community to reduce them.

“The policy would increase economic efficiency by starting to internalize the harm from climate-destabilising emissions and resetting investment incentives to lower emissions. Significantly, because of both household income tax rate reductions the policy would also increase the average household’s income by a predicted net $319 each year according to the accompanying BERL assessment.”

“A proposed 1% reduction in company tax rates, and the income tax cuts for households will offset of any demand reduction in the macro economy and position the economy for more choice to lower carbon emissions.”

“The Green’s proposals would substitute a carbon charge of $25/tonne of CO2 equivalent emissions for the flawed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which is largely ineffective and has lined the pockets of some. With a concession of a charge of only $12.50/tonne for dairy emissions, dairy farmers will be facing at least some incentive to reconfigure their farming operations to reduce emissions.”

“The provision of no charge for beef and sheep farm emissions is a huge concession which will be appreciated by those farmers whom for environmental reasons have resisted the temptation to convert to dairying despite the much higher returns.”

“The Green’s move to a carbon charge is a good idea because the ETS has failed to send the price signals needed, and we have had mis-directed dairy investment as a result. The carbon charges will provide for much more effective and settled policy which up to now has been ineffective and subject to on-going policy flip-flops, particularly those affecting the forestry sector.”

“The Government’s budget move to stop the arbitrage between very low cost international emissions units worth about 20c/tonne being in effect swapped for NZ Unit credits was sensible but applied only to the forestry sector – other industries have been left to continue the rort.

Cath Wallace said This is not fair on the public purse or the forestry industry and fails to incentivize any move from fossil fuels. “Forestry under the Green’s scheme will be rewarded by $12.50 tonne of CO2eq sequestered and will pay the same for deforestation emissions.”

“The policy package has many other companion policies which farmers will welcome and so will others with a concern for the environment: certification schemes for farmers who do on-farm emissions reductions or offsetting such as fencing and riparian planting and pest control. These will be very welcome.”

“The Green’s Climate Commission is a good idea to de-politicise climate protection policies. The setting of regular carbon budgets and emissions reduction targets, charting the path for this, and the transparency of the charges will provide greater policy stability which will help both farm and non-farm investors to know where they stand.”

“This policy shows how economic mechanisms can be used to help the environment, to improve economic efficiency by pricing pollutants and can achieve greater equity by implementing the polluter pays principle. The complementary policy measures add to the robustness of the commitment to reduce emissions. The income and company tax cuts will protect aggregate demand in the economy, while positioning both the economy and New Zealand’s international standing better for the future.”

“The accompanying BERL analysis provides substance to the policy, but the reliance on average outcomes, forced by an apparent lack of data for impacts on the median and quartiles of households, is a weak point in the analysis. The BERL analysis notes this, and notes that a General Equilibrium model would be hugely more complex but would give the opportunity to see how both consumers and producers would adjust.”

“Overall, the policy is economically sound, would provide much improved policy stability, is much fairer and would protect the most vulnerable farmers – those in the sheep and beef sector.”

Cath Wallace said the question is now, where do the other parties stand on this?

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news