WSJ Editorial mocks NZ's ETS

Nick Smith is an idiot. He really must go. The illustrious Wall Street Street journal is even mocking him and his ridiculous ETS.

The National Party-led government announced last week amendments to the country’s existing emissions-trading scheme, fulfilling a campaign pledge. Some sectors will now enter the scheme earlier than planned, while the country’s largest export industry, agriculture, will get a two-year reprieve. Wellington’s bureaucrats will also measure businesses’ “emissions intensity” rather than set hard emissions targets, so that firms aren’t penalized for their expansion plans.

The Minister for Climate Change Issues, Nick Smith, said the changes take “a responsible approach to the climate-change problem caused by greenhouse gas emissions while being realistic about how much a small country like New Zealand can contribute.” The Nationals are nominally conservative and keen to appear pro-business.

Sounds promising so far but now the sting.

What Mr. Smith didn’t say is that from an environmental perspective, it doesn’t really matter what New Zealand does. The island nation contributes 0.2% of total global emissions. The amended scheme isn’t expected to reduce even that already-miniscule figure much.

The economic cost to business is also hard to estimate, given that the new bill contains carveouts for certain industries and provisions to amend the legislation in future. The government says by 2030, the fiscal cost could reach 2.2 billion New Zealand dollars ($1.6 billion). Independent economists put that figure much higher because Kiwi businesses will become less competitive internationally as their costs rise.

The Nationals are pushing to pass the bill before the December United Nations climate-change meeting. “This emissions-trading scheme will be the first of any country outside of Europe and, as of 1 July 2010, will be the most comprehensive,” Mr.Smith enthused. But to what end?

Ex-fucking-actly, to what end? We are going to impoverish our economy so we can say we did it first. What a crock. What is hard to believe is that it is National that is wrecking our economy with ill-conceived solutions to unproven problems. That is normally the sole gambit of Labour.