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.