Thursday, September 24, 2009

Climate change: $2 billion a year

That's how much National's ETS will be costing us by 2030:

Last night’s briefing on the ETS finally revealed the two missing columns from the curious page of numbers tabled in the House on Tuesday by Nick Smith.

That table, to the extent it was comprehensible at all, showed there would be a $415m cost to the taxpayer from now to 2013; a saving between 2013 and 2017; but numbers for later years were missing.

The full table occurs on page 33 of the explanatory note to the draft bill. The missing two columns, for 2020 and 2030, show a hefty annual cost to the Crown which by 2030 is estimated to be $2 billion every year.

[Link added]

$2 billion is serious money. Even discounting it back into today's money ($1.32 billion assuming 2% inflation), we're talking more money [PDF] than the cost of ACC or the prison system, about a third of the education budget, or the entire cost of the police, given away each year to polluters. And you and I will be paying for it.

As I said, utter madness.

This is neither environmentally or fiscally sustainable, and it will have to be rolled back. But polluters like Methanex will be laughing all the way to the bank until it is.