Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Labour Energy Strategy

mentioned in the Herald today.
But i'm not convinced you can call something a strategy when it's just 'aspirational'. I mean seriously, what does that mean? Can the Reserve Bank get away with 5% inflation and reply that it thought the 1-3% targets were... aspirational?

Here's the press release.
You gotta love this bit:
Creating a pathway for internalisation of fossil fuel emissions in the electricity sector so costs are met by those who create them
isn't that called a tax? and what happens when you tax something at the bottom of the food chain? costs are simply transferred to customers. Great, extra revenue for the trough-dwellers and no practical change in behaviour for the electricity sector - i mean honestly, is this the best they can come up with?

what happened last time the govt tried to tax a sector of the economy for their GHG emmissions... oh yeah, it got dubbed 'the fart tax' and after driving a tractor up the steps of parliament and some lobbying by the climate sceptic Farmer's Federation, it got quickly scrapped. A true sign of the Labour party commitment to any potentially difficult issue.

check out the bullet points on the press release - you see any indication of the major emmission sectors of the NZ economy? you'd be forgiven for thinking it's all transport and coal power stations and they forgot the elephant in the room - ruminants.

And don't forget, the % change in emmissions from fossil fuel electricity is a stupid statistic (from the doyen of stupid statistics - the green party). this is an economy wide metric, it makes no sense to punish coal burning power stations if we are able to more than offset the emmissions with reduced transport emmissions (for example).

Energy policy is complicated enough, stir in the uncertain long term effects of climate change and it becomes downright insane. That's no reason to bury your head in the sand though - come on NZ Inc., we're gonna get clobbered if we don't start walking the clean-green walk, the 'food miles' battle was just the beginning.


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