Monday, January 31, 2022

Climate Change: End the bullshit. Make farmers pay their way

Back in November, farmers released their proposals for agricultural emissions pricing under the he waka eke noa partnership, and it was basicly a scam with huge discounts for on-farm pollution plus bullshit "offsets" created using dodgy accounting, predicated on denier talking points that farms didn't cause pollution and were really "carbon neutral". The Minister's reaction was... not supportive. But instead of getting the message that they needed to do better, they've put the same proposals out for consultation. Which means they'll be presenting one of them to the Minister in April.

The question is how long are we going to put up with this bullshit? Because its crystal clear now (if it wasn't in November) that farmers had no intention of engaging in good faith with the government's challenge to come up with something better than sticking them in the ETS, and never had. Instead, they're just whining for special treatment and trying to pretend the problem doesn't exist (and if it does, they shouldn't have to do anything about it, despite being our biggest source of pollution). The government should finally put an end to this bullshit, and bring them into the ETS at full price and with no free allocations (which are unsustainable and incompatible with our statutory targets). Make them pay their way for once in their lives!

Farmers will whine that this is unfair. That too is bullshit. Depending on when you measure it from (the passage of ETS legislation, or its first solid proposal in 1997), farmers have had between 15 and 25 years to change their practices and reduce their emissions in preparation for emissions pricing. Most people would consider that to be more than ample warning. If they haven't done so, then it seems to be a very poor business decision, and entirely their own responsibility. And if finally paying for their emissions drives them out of business and causes them to stop polluting, then that is what the ETS is meant to do, and we should welcome it.