The government has recently set itself a patheticly unambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 11% on 1990 levels by 2030. Meanwhile, they're handing out tens of millions of dollars a year to big polluters as a direct subsidy for their emissions:
But in New Zealand, the Government provides a 50 percent subsidy to emitting companies that might otherwise leave New Zealand and set up shop in a country with no emissions controls at all.
Figures just released show the value of those state payments to big corporations.
They show the largest emitter, New Zealand Steel, received 1,073,489 credits: almost $7.3m at the current market price of $6.80.
Also getting lots of Government-paid credits was the Methanex plant in Taranaki, which makes methanol for export from natural gas, which picked up 777,432 credits, worth almost $5.3m.
Another big name is the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, which received 755,987 credits from the Crown, or just over $5m at current rates.
Fourth on the list is Fletcher Concrete and Infrastructure, which received 322,430 credits, which would value at over $2m.
Other big recipients were Pan Pac Forests, Norske Skog, Carter Holt Harvey, Holcim Cement, Balance Agri-nutrients and McDonald's Lime.
Yes, the government is spending tens of millions of dollars a year paying these companies to destroy the world. It is absolute madness. If we want our emissions to actually decrease, ending this subsidy for pollution would be a good start.
(Of course, this is nothing compared to the hundreds of millions they effectively pay the dairy industry by excluding it completely from the ETS. That madness needs to stop too.)