NZETS.jpg The Green Party has just announced that it will support the government’s proposed emissions trading scheme, because “the substantial changes we have won to the ETS justify voting for it”, according to leader Jeanette Fitzsimons. The changes include a “billion dollar” fund from ETS revenues to improve home insulation and heating, new rules on credits for firms established to use new low-carbon technologies, and some improvements on agriculture and biodiversity protection.

“A target for agricultural emissions reduction before 2013 will be gazetted along with other targets for emission reductions. Government has also agreed that there will be investment in a range of technologies and practices which can reduce agricultural emissions, particularly nitrous oxide. These will include not just nitrification inhibitors but also low input farming which can be just as profitable; biogas plants to convert manure to energy; and methods to control soil damage in wet conditions such as herd homes and stand off pads.”

No news yet from NZ First, but Greenpeace were (predictably) pleased with the decision.

[Update 27/8: NZ First has announced that it will support the ETS legislation.]

[Update 29/8: The ETS has begun its passage through Parliament.]

Taking tiger mountain (by strategy)

NZETS.jpgWith a final decision required next week, the Green Party has asked for public feedback on whether it should support the government’s emissions trading scheme legislation, and people have not been slow in coming forward. Jeanette Fitzsimons announcement on Thursday explained the dilemma facing the party:

“We set out to achieve a number of things, such as including transport and agriculture into the scheme earlier, a fund to insulate homes to keep power bills down, targets for emissions reduction and support for new innovations that offer significant carbon reduction. […] On some of the issues we have not been able to make progress. We have not been able to get agreement to phase in transport instead it will come in in one lump in 2011, so this has not changed. We have made very little progress on agriculture but we are still talking about this. Very importantly we have not found a way for Government to accept a biodiversity standard to ensure that planting pines does not destroy biodiversity.”

The usual suspects have not been slow to chip in. Business NZ wants them to vote against the scheme; Greenpeace believes they have no choice but to support it. The debate at frogblog and Chris Trotter’s new blog has been interesting, while No Right Turn provides a characteristically concise summary of the situation.

Continue reading “Taking tiger mountain (by strategy)”

A rainbow (warrior) in curved air

RW08.jpg Second conference in a week in Wellington: this time the LexisNexis climate change symposium with lots of lawyers and a very impressive speaker list – and an invite to the Rainbow Warrior for a webcast climate change debate between David Parker, Nick “for Nelson” Smith, Jeanette Fitzsimons and Hone Harawira, with Sean (Jeepster) Plunket in the chair. Thanks to Greenpeace for getting me in (Susannah, Cindy, Kathy). It was most interesting. I’m planning to dissect the various parties promises in the run up to the election, so it was good to get a head start. Nick Smith was keen to get as many hits on David Parker as possible, but perhaps sensed he was on a sticky wicket given recent history. Hone was content to defer to the Greens on all matters of direct policy, and even DP did the same when I changed the subject from emissions to adaptation policy. Not satisfactorily answered, in my view, but watch the webcast and decide for yourselves.

I have a talk to give tomorrow, and so to bed.