Winston Peters continued his grumpy insulting ways on Q & A this week by attacking farming leaders rather than his own Government for farmer concerns around the so called carbon zero bill.
Peters’ claims are based on a lack of understanding of the concerns farmers have over the bill. Namely that the methane targets have no integrity and are not justified in terms of the science and equity between emitters.
- The targets in the bill are taken from an IPCC report which the IPCC states itself should not be used for national targets
- The methane targets are not conditional on economic factors, science or any other factors unlike the CO2 targets.
- There is a 2030 methane target but no 2030 CO2 target. This is indefensible.
- Methane targets are for reductions in absolute emissions whereas CO2 targets are all net reductions, and therefore not really reductions at all.
- All reports relied on by the Government to set the methane targets state very clearly that reducing methane emissions will require reductions or caps in production. This will lead to increased world hunger and or increased global warming as other countries production systems ramp up to feed the growing world population.
- Faced with a growing world population reducing methane emissions in NZ is a selfish and pointless act.
- There is no policy mechanism that will achieve any reduction in farm emissions. Bringing livestock emissions in to the ETS, as is proposed by the Government, will not achieve the 2030 target as it is only planned to start in 2025; and in any case is more likely to increase emissions as farmers seek to increase production to meet the cost.
Winston Peters shows complete lack of understanding of the bill when he says his Government’s ETS proposals which will start in 2025 are the solution while in the same sentence saying the independent climate commission will decide the path to meet the targets. Which is it? Peters also does not seem to realise that all emissions intense trade exposed industry got the equivalent of a 95% emissions subsidy when they joined the ETS.
The ETS is also based on carbon emissions and the carbon unit has been so thoroughly discredited in scientific circles it is a disgrace that politicians still use it. Carbon produced from methane is so different to carbon produced from CO2 that they are incomparable and it is time our Government politicians realized that. Bringing agriculture in to the ETS based on flawed carbon emissions which do not recognize the difference between biological cyclical emissions and fossil sourced additive emissions is a travesty that no so called champion of the Regions should support.