In the wake of the Morgan Foundations hard-hitting report “Climate Cheats”, Simon Johnson (aka Mr February) asks if New Zealand Steel received millions of emission units for free under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme industrial allocation provisions and yet still bought millions of the dubious international Russian units (ERUs) to make windfall arbitrage profits.
The Morgan Foundation’s latest report “Climate Cheats” has been sizzling across the various media in the last week. The language of the report is refreshingly non-neutral and unashamedly emotive. It is in equal parts compelling and condemning.
Carbon credit scheme a farce, reported the Herald. Climate change cheating, said Radio New Zealand. Dodgy deals, climate swindle, climate fraudsters, junk carbon scam, said report author Geoff Simmons.
As a consequence, “Climate Cheats” is an easy and engaging read – no mean feat given the topic – that is also thoroughly well-researched. It really is a ‘high integrity’ credit to it’s authors (if you pardon the pun).
In this post I want to look specifically at one particular type of corporate conduct – arbitrage profiteering – covered in “Climate Cheats”.
Continue reading “Did NZ Steel make windfall arbitrage profits from the ETS?”
New Zealand has a $3 billion carbon headache looming – and Treasury says that’s the conservative estimate. Carbon emissions in the period 2021 to 2030 could cost the country as much as $52 billion. Official briefings to the incoming Government acknowledge that the costs of meeting emissions reductions targets after 2020 were likely to rise significantly because “our emissions are forecast to increase and carbon prices are likely to be higher”.
A climate change lobby group is calling for a national carbon budget and legally binding emissions reduction targets. The Sustainability Council’s paper comes as it releases figures showing New Zealand is facing a carbon liability of between $3 billion and $52 billion by 2030. Drawing on Government documents and its own work, the research and advocacy trust paints a picture of a country running a creative carbon accounting process, in which carbon liabilities have been shunted off to a time when carbon prices are predicted to be much higher.
Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says New Zealand will “push the envelope” on post-2020 emissions reductions. But he still won’t say what that means. New Zealand has to announce its 2021-2030 emissions reduction target before the negotiations for a new international climate treaty in Paris late next year. Groser, who is now in Lima for UN climate talks, told TV’s The Nation at the weekend that the target didn’t have to be settled until the middle of next year.
It’s official, even though it won’t be conclusive for a few months yet: if present trends continue, 2014 will be one of the hottest years on record − and quite possibly the hottest of them all. Continue reading “Carbon News 8/12/14: NZ’s multi-billion carbon blowout”
In this week’s news-packed edition of The Climate Show we have an exclusive interview with Jim Salinger, probably New Zealand’s highest profile climate scientist, talking about extremes and the shape of things to come. John Cook discusses his new paper with Stephan Lewandowsky, Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation, which is already upsetting climate cranks around the world, plus we look at carbon bubbles, renewable energy beating coal on price, and a simply superb iPad app.
Watch The Climate Show on our Youtube channel, subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, listen to us via Stitcher on your smartphone or listen direct/download from the link below the fold.
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Continue reading “The Climate Show #33: Salinger, carbon carnage and recursive fury”
Norwegian wood and newsprint transnational Norske Skog Tasman (NZ) Ltd ‘exports itself’. Simon Johnson aka Mr February looks at the flight of another manufacturer and CO2 emitter and exporter as it lays off staff and reduces production. Wasn’t the very generous free allocation of units in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme meant to keep exporters like Norske Skog Tasman in New Zealand? Or have we just removed the price signal from exporters for no valid reason and stuffed the NZETS?
The Herald reports that the Norwegian-owned newsprint-maker and transnational Norske Skog Tasman NZ has joined the ranks of export businesses like Rio Tinto Alcan NZ/NZ Aluminium Smelters who are exporting jobs off shore. Incidentally Rio Tinto Alcan NZ/NZ Aluminium Smelters have just been described as New Zealand’s biggest bludger.
Norske Skog is shutting down one of two newsprint machines at the Tasman Mill, in Kawerau, due to lowered demand for newsprint.
At the same time Norske Skog is investing $A84 million in new plant at the existing Boyer Mill in Tasmania with some substantial help from the Australian Federal government (A$28 million grant) and State government (A$13 million loan).
The NZ Government has been asked “what is being done for jobs”? And the NZ Government’s “market will take care of everything” approach has been called naive.
The NZ Herald mentioned the NZ emissions trading scheme (NZETS) only briefly in passing, as they noted the rock-bottom NZ carbon price and the poor despairing carbon foresters.
Continue reading “Norwegian Wood (this exporter has flown)”