OnPoint by Keith Ng

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  • Gareth Ward,

    I think they've got "gross" in there incorrectly though? As they are talking about purchasing units on the international market where marginal costs incentivise you to?

    So have been trying to answer my own question here - can someone confirm that Gross Emissions INCLUDES offset units purchased internationally? And Net Emissions just includes carbon sinks as the difference?

    i.e. I can emit 10,000whatevers but buy units for 3,000, and my Gross Emissions are actually 7,000?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Point well made

    Drat, I thought he meant that mosquitos are allergic to carbon. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Drat, I thought he meant that mosquitos are allergic to carbon. :)

    Well, you don't get many in coal mines. ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Well, you don't get many in coal mines. ;-)

    I think they found that they were much cheaper than canaries, but much more difficult to keep in the cage.

    Plus, how do you tell when a mosquito stops breathing?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    When it stops sucking.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    No I got that. New Zealand shouldn't try and reduce our carbon emissions because other parts of the world have malaria. Point well made, I can't believe I missed that yesterday.

    Analogy doesn't work. I do forget that sometimes.

    Please allow me to explain in very simple terms.

    If we go for 40% reductions we become the world leaders in being Nimbyistic, rich, arrogant pricks.

    By setting a price for carbon emission at a rate of 40% reduction, we will be pricing it massively outside of the reach of the worlds poor.

    In which it's apparently completely impossible for other parts of the world to respond in any way to movements in emission production.

    The worlds poor simply cannot afford to. So when a bunch rich, arrogant, nimby pricks set up a market which prices an otherwise freely available commodity outside of their reach they will refuse to participate. The fact that the rich, arrogant, nimby pricks will then scold them for not being "green" enough is neither relevant nor amusing*.

    * except to the rich, arrogant, nimby pricks who will find endless glee in their own smug moral superiority.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Uh, I'm no economist but isn't there a difference between our local emissions target (as a net % of 1990 levels - which everyone conveniently leaves out when they want to make it seem really huge) and the price per unit in a global market?

    Do all countries have the same target level? If not, then how does the target level in one country (or group of countries) affect the pricing in another?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Fact - a NZ ETS will encourage the planting of trees and the removal of sheep and cows in NZ. By doing so it will in turn incentivise the farming of cattle and the destruction of rainforests in the tropics. An ETS will be bad for Planet Earth.

    Erm, no offense, but those premises don't lead to the conclusion, and anyway, if we price in externalities universally, then the invisible hand of the market will solve the problems. The solution here is clearly more markets, not less.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    For anyone who thinks I am a climate change skeptic, or just having a go at the ETS for some political trolling - this isn't the case.

    ETS is a crap "solution" propsed by the useless rich of the world, represented primarily by the EU and various Green parties therein. It is unfair and inequitable to the worlds poor because it prices carbon emission outside of the poors reach, and therefore it will fail to save the planet.

    The answer to climate change is to impose taxation on the rich consumer driven societies that are stomping us to death with their carbon footprints, but tax is unpopular. Much "better" for politicians that climate change be tackled by stealth imposing costs on production and getting producers to pay so the tax is hidden. But that can't be done worldwide, because of the inequity in wealth between the developed and the developing world means the worlds poor will not sign up. Thus ETS schemes fail, investing time in setting up an ETS is investing in failure and killing the planet.

    The answer remains what it has always been, we need to start slapping carbon taxation on every consumed good in this country, making it as high as our consumer can stand. That will be less popular than hiding the cost through an ETS, but as long as our consumers have carbon footprints 3x larger than the world average it is the only fair and equitable solution. And it actually has a chance of saving the planet.

    Good afternoon everyone, enjoy your day. Hopefully the weather will fine up, but not too much eh?

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    <quotePlus, how do you tell when a mosquito stops breathing?
    When it stops sucking.</quote>Mosquitoes will always suck, therefore they will always breathe. So. if mosquitoes will always breath then the will not die, therefore mosquitoes are the undead. Vampires are the undead, therefore mosquitoes are vampires.
    There should be a law...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Bum

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    If not, then how does the target level in one country (or group of countries) affect the pricing in another?

    Because one metric tonne of carbon dioxide here and in Uganda is one metric tonne of carbon dioxide. (And if you don't have global prices the same then carbon leakage occurs whereby polluting industries seek out new production facillities in places with the lowest cost carbon and because of the nature of the ETS political landscape these places are in the developing world so goods produced are shipped back to the first world markets with a greater carbon footprint and sold at a lower price than locally made goods.)

    If we want to reduce our effective emissions we can do so by purchasing carbon credits locally or overseas. The more we need to buy, the higher the price goes, the more unaffordable it becomnes to the worlds poor.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The worlds poor simply cannot afford to.

    I'm surprised that you ran with 'free markets rule the world' as your base explanation, and then let this fly.

    If the world's poor have to pay more for carbons than they'll charge more for the products they sell. We'll therefore pay for their carbons in our imported coffee and other goods.

    (Free Market) Economics 101 is so much fun. Complete nonsense of course.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    While I'm not sure I get to same vitriolic conclusion, Angus' point about a global cost of tradeable units is a fair one. Of course, the Ugandans have a much lower reductions target, but the marginal cost of that extra tonne is much higher for a poor country.

    At which point it seems you're arguing for a progressive carbon pricing mechanism?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    <quote>Of course, the Ugandans have a much lower reductions target, but the marginal cost of that extra tonne is much higher for a poor country.</quote

    Yes, but that doesn't prevent '1st world' countries reducing their carbon emissions. Some of those activities might go off shore to more emission friendly countries, but others won't. It's not a pure free market there's umpteen other influences in play and countries have to take responsibility for what they produce just as much as what they consume.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    If the world's poor have to pay more for carbons than they'll charge more for the products they sell. We'll therefore pay for their carbons in our imported coffee and other goods.

    Yes, if it happens you are correct, but that is a very big if.

    If you were a politician in a country, for example China which has a competitive cost advantage over the USA or Europe or NZ in part because of not being Kyoto Annex I or II, would you sign up to this? I wouldn't, because it seems political poison.

    Increasing your cost base is going to mean China sells less goods to the West - millions lose their jobs in the massive export sector and rightly blame you for it. Suppose the price of carbon gets so high that its more profitable to sell the carbon credits of a powerstation to the West than sell power to unemployed Chinese - millions of unemployed Chinese have their power cut off (a few Party officials profit) and the people rightly blame you for it. And the reason you have to use to convince your people of the need for their sacrifice is that China needs to pitch in to solve global warming (a problem that all your fellow Chinese know is 99% caused by the West). Suicide might be too weak a word, treasonous action likely to cause civil war isn't a word though.

    The Chinese are not likely to sign up.

    I'm surprised that you ran with 'free markets rule the world' as your base explanation, and then let this fly.

    I delight in pointing out flaws in markets, its a thing. Our attempt to control emissions causing an increase in global warming - flaw.

    I am a little surprised by the sheer amount of lets make a really big global market gung-ho vibe the Public Address crowd has nowadays.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    gung-ho

    Ooh, ooh, I learned this one at the pub a couple of weeks ago. It came from Chinese cooperatives - Work Together-Work in Harmony.

    And Rewi Alley helped transfer the phrase during WW2 to the US of A where they subsequently munged it until it became Rambo.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    The Chinese are not likely to sign up.

    And apparently it's within WTO rules to do this.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Yeah, they are going to bring in a carbon tax.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Yeah, they are going to bring in a carbon tax.

    What's NZ to do if it was on the receiving end of the above?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Grab our ankles more tightly.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes, if it happens you are correct, but that is a very big if.

    OK I was just poking fun at you.

    But the same thing could be said for your "if we make it expensive here it will go elsewhere so ETS will increase emissions" theory. There's a lot of ifs in that line of reasoning.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    I am deeply, deeply anti any 'monetised' carbon trading scheme or carbon tax system. In my (admittedly senile and limited) mind this is just the creation of a market whereby some people will make money based on some sort of "carbon go round". It fails to directly address the underlying problem (anthropogenic global warming) and it seems to me that its indirect effect will only slightly impinge on it.

    Those industries (in the western world) that can afford to will absorb the cost without reducing emissions; similar developing countries will either not join or will seek reduced rates and the overall effect will be a very small decrease in emissions globally, but a great increase in wealth for some people/organisations involved in the administration of the scheme.

    i.e. to me it just seems like a rort.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    What's NZ to do if it was on the receiving end of the above?

    We would gain incentive to demonstrably improve our carbon efficiency, because we will be losing market share based on how polluting our industries are. It is the sort of thing the world should be doing more of.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Kyle,

    But the same thing could be said for your "if we make it expensive here it will go elsewhere so ETS will increase emissions" theory. There's a lot of ifs in that line of reasoning.


    Outsourcing
    of industrial production from highcost to lowcost economies is an observable phenomenon, not a theory. True up until now it has existed on the basis of primarily labour costs, but the base practicalities are equivalent. It is closely associated with free market capitalism. Increasing the costs of emitting carbon in rich (ETS participation) countries will lead to a growth of carbon emitting industires in poor (non-ETS participation) countries.

    You are committed to having NZ maximise its involvement in a global free market ETS, I am against it. I presume to acknowledge the fact that free markets favour those with the most capital, you say these are subject to many ifs and probaly won't occur. I advocate the richest consumer nations in the world being hit with punitive taxation, you advocate a market solution. Our views are fundamentally opposed.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

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