Green climate policies – Green Fund and Zero emissions

The Greens have announced their main environmental policies that include Zero Carbon Emissions, a Kiwi Climate Fund and a major tree planting project.

Here’s how it’s going to work.

First: we are going to plant one point two billion trees.

We’re going to plant them in the cities. We’re going to plant them in the towns. We’re going to plant them in in the National Parks. We’re going to plant them in the regions.

That’s going to be tens of thousands of jobs. A lot of them will be in the regions. That means lower unemployment. Lower poverty. Lower crime. Cleaner rivers. More native species. It would be worth doing even if we weren’t saving the world.

A lot of them will be native trees. Native forest shapes the beauty of our country’s landscape.

Take a second, and imagine what returning another 4-5 percent of our country to native forest would look like. Where once you’d see erosion-scarred hillsides, there’ll be lush forest and bush. Flocks of birds. Clean rivers.

Take another second, and imagine how many jobs, in the regions, for young people, might be created through planting those trees, and then through pest control in those forests, possum trapping, and the like. Even through mountain biking and maintaining walking tracks.

Imagine a revitalised plantation forestry sector, providing enough wood for biofuels, high end manufactured goods and – yes – housing.

An admirable aim. Of course there will be a substantial cost. And it may not be simple getting tens of thousands of people to work in largely remote areas. It is difficult to get people to work on farms, orchards and vineyards now, and tree planting will be further from civilisation.

The next step is to get those emissions down. That means putting a proper price on the pollution that causes climate change – our greenhouse gas emissions. All of them.

We’re going to bin the Emissions Trading Scheme – a scheme that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars change hands, our forests get cut down and converted to intensive dairy farms and our emissions increase by over 21%.

The point of an ETS is to bring down emissions. Ours have increased 21% since we put the ETS in place. I can think of few more poorly conceived pieces of public policy than one that achieves the precise opposite of what is intended.

We say, tax pollution more, and tax peoples’ incomes less.

A carbon tax instead of the ETS is worth serious consideration. There is a lot of debate internationally about the pros and cons of both, and the effectiveness of our ETS is also debatable.

Finally – and this is the kicker – every single Kiwi over 18 will also get a $250 dividend bonus at the end of the year based on the carbon tax revenue.

That number would be higher, but we’ve got over a billion trees to plant.

I think a $250 bonus and the knowledge that you’re not going to spend your retirement in a climate refugee resettlement camp is a pretty great deal.

Money does grow on trees! Cash for everyone.

Green environmental policies have the wide appeal, but voters may not be listening to them much and more.

Shaw: The climate protection plan I’ve laid out today is incredibly comprehensive.

 

23 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  September 12, 2017

    ”First: we are going to plant one point two billion trees.”

    That is bullshit, Ditto this:

    ”I think a $250 bonus and the knowledge that you’re not going to spend your retirement in a climate refugee resettlement camp is a pretty great deal.”

    It’s scary to think there are New Zealanders who think these will be ‘choice’ ideas.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 12, 2017

      Where will the trees come from ? It will take a very long time to grow that number.

  2. robertguyton

     /  September 12, 2017

    Planting trees? Essential. When can I start? Do I have to wait till the new Labour/Green Government is elected? 2 weeks! I can’t wait that long! I’m going out now; I’ve half a dozen black alders in need of planting.

    • I’ve just ordered 110 trees to plant, mostly for coppicing for firewood.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 12, 2017

        I (we) planted four trees, have transplanted a few self-setters and allowed others to grow where they turn up. A large one was in the way, so its lower branches were removed and the rest left to arch over. Other little trees are in front of the dustbin, compost bin and garden cart to disguise them-the dustbin is a nice red one, but compost bins are not the handsomest things in the garden.

        My garden is quite small, I think that I have done my share of tree-planting. A nearby house has had its mature trees massacred. One fell on the clothes line, a poor but small consolation. They have been done unsympathetically and the remains are hideous. There is a special place in Hell for people who gratuitously murder healthy trees.

      • robertguyton

         /  September 12, 2017

        That’s the way!

  3. PDB

     /  September 12, 2017

    Trees/shrubs/grasses (especially native varieties) are being planted in huge numbers already Nationwide and in many cases large volume native plant stock is running out for many species already or else they have been back ordered through the big nurseries decades in advance in order to secure a steady supply for such things as new motorway plantings. A billion plus native trees is nonsense.

    The industry is also already thousands short of workers, propped up with immigrants not afraid of getting their hands dirty, and with Labour financially encouraging students to go into higher education & sit on their asses the Greens are seriously deluded.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 12, 2017

      One problem is accomodating people in the places where trees are being planted-and someone who lives in a city couldn’t travel to the wopwops. Green dream.

    • robertguyton

       /  September 12, 2017

      “A billion plus native trees is nonsense”.
      Quitter.
      The industry is already thousands short of workers, you drone. Huge opportunity there them, for employment and training is something truly worthwhile; the reforestation of the denuded landscapes we have created. Is there “higher education’ than the restoration of the natural world? Not in my book.

      • PDB

         /  September 12, 2017

        Obviously logic is lost on you – they can’t attract people to undertake the plantings they do now so where are all these ‘magic people’ going to appear from to plant another billion trees?

        Your ‘book’ can be found in the fiction section along with this policy.

        • Blazer

           /  September 12, 2017

          National have a ready made answer,so I guess others can use it…too…its an ‘aspirational’…target.

          • PDB

             /  September 12, 2017

            Is Labour’s zero suicide rate ‘aspirational’ or just nonsense that will come back to haunt them if they are in govt and can’t deliver?

            • Blazer

               /  September 12, 2017

              its a ready made answer for whatever people may raise…ask Tolley..Bol.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 12, 2017

              Zero suicide rate indeed. Dream on. How can they stop it altogether ? If people are determined to do it, they will. They can’t stop people’s circumstances being intolerable to them, What about the number of widows and widowers who do it ? Will they provide them with new partners to stop them being so lonely that life is intolerable ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 12, 2017

              Where are all these forestry workers going to live ? In tents ? Caravans ? What would that cost ?

  4. Kitty Catkin

     /  September 12, 2017

    The smugness of their attitude is seriously annoying-as if nobody else cares about trees.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 12, 2017

      And trees fall with landslides, as we have all seen on the news, so that is false security.

      • robertguyton

         /  September 12, 2017

        Kitty Catkin – despite your handle and it’s connection with trees, you seem to have no feeling for them. Did the Greens say, “nobody else cares for them”? No. But someone needs to step up and give them the prominence they deserve. The Greens have. National never would, because to them and their rural supporters, grass is King, all else must fall.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 12, 2017

          I wouldn’t be planting trees and hating to see them killed when it’s not necessary if I had no feeling for them. I can’t be bothered to count the trees on my small section, as the lacebarks and the unknown self-setters are very close and it would be hard to count them, But on the front lawn alone are four pittosporums, an oak, an ash, three unknowns of one type and one of another. T

          The Greens’ attitude seems to be that they care much more than anyone else-it’s very smug.

          The idea that National and their rural supporters don’t care about trees and only care about grass is totally ignorant.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 12, 2017

            I forgot the ‘big tree’ ,also unknown breed, that acts as a bird hotel and provides endless hours of fun for bird-lovers and the two camellias. That’s 13 trees on the lawn and who knows how many on the rest of the section-no feeling for trees ? Yeah, right.

  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  September 12, 2017

    NZ Forest Service disestablished by the 4th Labour Government 1987.
    30 years later the NZ Labour Party announce that they will form a NZ Forestry Service.

    What a bunch of Wallies.

    Bit out of date, but still worth reading:
    Levack, Poole & Bateson 2006: The Great Wood Robbery? Political bumbling ruins New Zealand forestry.

  1. Green climate policies – Green Fund and Zero emissions — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition