Favourable rec­om­men­da­tions

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

The agri­cul­tural sec­tor has ben­e­fited from the 61 rec­om­men­da­tions of the Govern­ment’s Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme statu­tory re­view. While the re­port does sup­port agri­cul­ture’s in­tro­duc­tion to the scheme from 2015, it pro­poses this be phased in more grad­u­ally than now sched­uled.

The en­ergy, trans­port and in­dus­trial sec­tors are favoured, too. The re­port said they should be phased in be­tween 2013 and 2015.

Some farm­ers and cli­mate change crit­ics want agri­cul­ture ex­empted from the scheme. And farm­ers might com­plain that the re­view panel ‘‘ strongly’’ be­lieves the scheme’s obli­ga­tions should be im­posed at the farm level, rather than pro­ces­sor level as pre­scribed in the leg­is­la­tion as farm­ers are best able to re­duce their emis­sions and should be mo­ti­vated to do so.

But the Key Govern­ment was never go­ing to bring agri­cul­ture into the scheme from 2015 if no prac­ti­cal tech­nolo­gies were avail­able to farm­ers and if New Zealand’s com­peti­tors had not im­ple­mented sim­i­lar schemes on agri­cul­ture.

House­holds will pay smaller fuel and power in­creases, in the short-term any­way, if the Govern­ment adopts the panel’s ad­vice.

But the rec­om­men­da­tions would re­sult in the Govern­ment los­ing $700 mil­lion in tax rev­enue. House­hold­ers would gain as con­sumers, only to be hit as tax­pay­ers to make up for the lost in­come.

Green Party co-leader Rus­sel Nor­man said noth­ing changed cor­po­rate be­hav­iour like a price sig­nal and ac­tion was needed to re­duce our green­house gas emis­sions and sup­port an econ­omy re­silient to cli­mate change and high oil prices.

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