· Keeping the ‘one-for-two’ obligation in place until after this year. This means participants in the scheme will continue to surrender units for half the carbon they emit;
· Maintaining the $25 ‘fixed-price option’ until at least 2015, which caps the price firms will face if carbon prices begin to rise internationally;
· Introducing off-setting for pre-1990 forest land owners, and allocating the full second tranche of compensation where off-setting is not taken; and
· Leaving agricultural emissions out of the ETS until at least 2015.
“We have considered in-depth the recommendations of the ETS Review Panel, listened to what those affected by the ETS are saying, and reviewed what our trading partners are doing. We also considered feedback through community consultation, including written submissions, a series of regional meetings, and hui"said Tim Groser
The agricultural sector at just on half of all our GHG emissions provides New Zealand with a very unusual carbon footprint. We have just seen Australia introduce a price on carbon for the big emitters. We on the other hand have decided that the big emitters of our national carbon footprint should be exempt from any cost of carbon emissions.
Why ? Apparently it's hard to offset, and yet the carbon forestry scheme has been working very well. What's happened to the big methane research centre that we established ? It's hard - so the biggest polluters get to be subsidised by "mom and dad" who don't really have much of a hope of buying shares in those state owned assets , but do get to subsidise the carbon emissions of the agricultural sector.
Feeling good about that ?
Shucks, for some reason no...
Suddenly the Australian version doesn't seem so bad after all.
Second image: courtesy of Science Media Centre