Does anyone believe this?

James Shaw released:

“The proposal would see New Zealand farmers lead the world in reducing emissions, delivering a competitive advantage and enhancing our export brand.

“No other country in the world has yet developed a system for pricing and reducing agricultural emissions, so our farmers are set to benefit from being first movers.

Being the only country in the world to tax agricultural emissions is not a competitive advantage – it is the opposite. Its like claiming being the first mover in high inflation gives you a benefit.

“Cutting emissions will help New Zealand farmers to not only be the best in the world but the best for the world; gaining a price premium for climate friendly agricultural products while also helping to boost export earnings.

New Zealand farmers already are the best in the world – they have the lowest carbon footprint for dairy per tonne.

The Government is not proposing any sort of market mechanism for methane emissions – they are proposing that politicians will set the price – so basically a tax.

The better option, in my view, would be to move methane into the ETS, so the market sets the price, not politicians.

However as methane only stays in the atmosphere for 12 years (carbon dioxide stays for thousands of years) the focus should be on not increasing methane emissions, rather than decreasing them. So have methane in the ETS, but make available free credits equal to the level of methane emissions in 1990.

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