Methane taxWednesday, Jul 16, 2003
The Minister of Agriculture seems resolute that he will not back down on his unwanted livestock emissions research levy.
Both ministers involved in the current standoff seem to be surprised that those opposing the tax/levy should put effort into, in the Ministers words, saving the cost of a packet of cigarettes.
The bit that seems to be being avoided in this in this debate is that it is driven by the shadowy influence of the Kyoto Protocol. A protocol which, putting aside the sensibility of the science confirming global warming, has to be taken up by all countries producing these emissions before for any claimed benefits could be derived.
This is not an inter country contest where claiming to be first or the leading or the best reducer of emissions is the end game. If emissions are the cause of global warming then the problem must be solved with a global solution. Too many major nations are standing back right now. There is a need for equity in the resolution of the claimed problem
In relative international terms of total emissions New Zealand’s early ratifying of the protocol is little more than emotional grandstanding driven by the crooked thinking of an out of control green lobby who take no cognisance of the need to manage this change on a very broad front.
Jim Sutton in his role of Minister of Trade has been performing quite capably but in this emissions area he is sucking up to lobbies with no understanding of the potential economic consequence and sacrifice that may occur with the creation of an artificial tax regime to constrain emissions on an international basis. What a forlorn group on which to waste reputation.
But even worse is the derisory stance taken by his side kick the Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson. The Minister of “learn nothing, know nothing and do nothing”. His attitude to farmers suggests that he had too many wet late night, torch lit bad experiences doing caesarean sections on wee heifers with big calves – nothing to do with acts of god just the fault of ignorant farmers!
An equable outcome on managing green house emissions is still to be found both nationally and internationally. NZ’s government ministers should focus their efforts on the broader front rather than picking on one small section of producers.