Thursday, August 21, 2008

Climate change: progress II

Jeanette Fitizsimons has a progress report on negotiations over the ETS:

"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.

"On the other hand, it appears there will be substantial financial assistance to help people make their houses warm and dry. We have also made good progress on ensuring that the ETS does not lock our economy into old technology and that there is room for innovation. There will be better rules about allocation plans.

The Greens are now asking for feedback on whether they should support the scheme or not. You can email them at

As for my view, I think I've made it clear enough: at the very least, it will prevent further growth in emissions, and create a mechanism by which they can be seriously reduced. In addition, the alternative on the table - leaving emissions completely uncontrolled while National dithers for two years - is no alternative at all. The pragmatic path is to support it, and then use every future electoral advantage to hammer that cap lower. It's a long game, but the best hope for long-term change.

[Hat-tip: Frog Blog]