Business NZ: hands off our ETS handouts

Why is Business NZ putting its proverbial head above the parapet and expressing a view on the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (the NZETS)? In this post, Simon Johnson argues that the ETS gives us the “Eyes Glaze Over” syndrome as it is a dead horse being flogged by the usual suspects. The NZETS is toothless by design. In both respects, Business NZ has got the Emissions Trading Scheme exactly how they want it.

Phil O’Reilly, the CEO of business lobby group Business NZ, has just written an opinion piece in the Herald on the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (the NZETS).

I think I can guess what you are thinking.

“Oh no, an article about the NZETS…just the mention of it sucks the life out of me. I bet it has attracted a whole lot of crackpot denier comments. It’s so complex and full of jargon I don’t really know what to think about it. I find the whole subject just a turn-off. My Eyes are Glazing Over.

This is the entirely natural MEGO response, but you need to fight it! Most discussions of the NZETS descend into flogging the dead horse in order for the snake to swallow the elephant in the room sort of circularity.

We need to realise that this ETS inertia works to the advantage of the parties who gain from the current NZETS. That is of course, the big emitter business members of Business NZ. So, obtain a coffee or other stimulant and read on. I can help you through this. I have waded through Phil O’Reilly’s NZETS musings so you don’t have to.

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The wrong road to take

It’s difficult not to become repetitive when blogging about climate change. The basic science is well-established. The dangers global warming poses to human society are clear and in some places present. The solutions lie with drastically cutting the level of greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to changes already unavoidable.  The mitigation solution in particular continues to be resisted by vested interests and their political allies. I’m conscious of having expressed each of these facts many times over in a variety of forms over the past three years. And now I’m about to repeat myself within a month of last writing about the contradiction in New Zealand government thinking.

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