Sunday, February 23, 2014
Mike Butler: Tribes threaten action on carbon price
Heh, heh, heh! Tribes accepted carbon credits as payment and those credits have slumped in value -- so the tribes are threatening a $600-million treaty claim, and will take their case to the United Nations in a bid to get the government to revalue the credits. Greedy iwi, global warming stupidity, frequently it appears the chickens come home to roost.
This is how the story has unfolded over the past few weeks. The Iwi Leadership Forum told Prime Minister John Key at Waitangi on February 5, 2014, that it is about to implement a "climate change escalation strategy" which includes a treaty claim for $600-million over the lost value of carbon forestry, according to carbon market newsletter Carbon News.
A week later, the Government appeared to be ignoring an ultimatum from Maori to fix carbon prices or face the consequences. Meanwhile, tribes claimed to have the support of at least two major political parties (no prizes for guessing which parties these may be).
These frustrated individuals say they will pull no punches when it meets with a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change committee in Wellington on Thursday.
A bullying, threatening strategy by tribal leaders less than five years ago over the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2009 gave Ngai Tahu and four other tribes the right to carbon credits for forestry on more than 35,000 hectares of Crown conservation land for 70 years. A tribal negotiator said the deal was worth $2-billion, but Climate Change Minister Nick Smith said the total was less than $70-million to $120-million.
The National Party government wanted the Maori Party’s five votes to pass the Climate Change Response Bill so the carbon credits for tribes was a quid pro quo to get the bill over the line.
At that time the price of carbon was forecast to be $25 a tonne. But the cost of carbon credits fell to just 14 cents a tonne a year ago, with more current prices difficult to find because they exist on websites that require a login.
The Emissions Trading Scheme, which mirrored schemes overseas, intended to put a price on carbon to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. But carbon prices collapsed, partly because of an economic crisis in Europe, and partly because of changes in New Zealand to keep the New Zealand economy competitive.
The push to reduce emissions is based on the theory that man-made emissions are heating up the climate and hastening the end of the world. Unfortunately, the evidence does not fit the theory since even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has conceded that there has been no warming for 20 years. Moreover, CO2 emissions have increased in that time without causing any warming.
So, if you sold your house, would you accept carbon credits as payment? Me neither. It appears those tribal leaders had failed to do due diligence on carbon credits and the shaky “science” that they are based upon. Look and what they did then – and look at what they are doing now.
1. Carbon News. http://www.carbonnews.co.nz/story.asp?storyID=7439
2. Carbon News. http://www.carbonnews.co.nz/story.asp?storyID=7456
3. Carbon News. http://www.carbonnews.co.nz/story.asp?storyID=7475
4. “Smith plays down $2-billion ETS windfall for Maori”, The Dominion Post, November 23, 2009
5. Carbon credit price meltdown, Stuff, February 3, 2013. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/8252659/Carbon-credit-price-meltdown
at 10:26 AM