Nick Smith, New Zealand's climate change and environment minister, offered a much more limited economic and political ambition.The article this comes from is quite good, highlighting how Australia is facing up to reality, and also seeing the new opportunities that emissions trading will bring, at least in part because the Aussie government isn't still trying to convince itself that the whole thing might just go away if they prevaricate long enough.
His comments, such as the need to recalibrate the ETS in light of the recession and the unrealistic timetables for bringing sectors into the ETS, left the strong impression that the New Zealand government was planning to water down an already weak ETS once the select committee reports. (1)
Where Oram fails is by identifying why Smith and National are doing so little, so late and why they are trying to weaken the ETS that Labour bequeathed them. Connecting National's dilatory efforts to come to grips with climate change with the political reality with the desires of its core constituencies - business and farming- would probably be rude. To rude for Rod.
But only a couple of weeks ago, Don Nicholson was fulminating about the evils of an Emissions Trading Scheme (2). He might have been talking to the New Zealand Plant Protection Society, but it was pretty obviously a warning to National not to even think of doing anything contrary to the interests - the very short term interests - of the agricultural sector. It was an unintentional warning to us as well, of course, revealing the special interests driving National's climate change policies, which the mainstream media don't seem to have picked up on.
Why would that be? Could the same interests that dictate how National
1 - "NZ too slow on ETS uptake," by Rod Oram, published in the Sunday Star Times. Reproduced on stuff, 30th of August, 2009. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/2815445/NZ-too-slow-on-ETS-uptake)
2 - As described previosuly on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2009/08/what-surprise-ii.html