Kyoto Protocol a “Feelgood Gimmick”
Meanwhile, SMH columnist Miranda Devine says “Our Kiwi neighbours, once smug about ecological superiority, face a cost blow-out from the treaty exceeding $NZ1 billion ($900 million). The farcical result is that even though the country produces only 0.2 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases, it is to be punished as if it were a big polluter because it is unlikely to meet its emission targets. The Government has admitted it will exceed its Kyoto target by 36 million tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2008 and 2012. In their enthusiasm for the project, New Zealand officials miscalculated carbon dioxide inputs and outputs, claiming there would be a net profit in carbon credits from the treaty. They reportedly counted some forests twice and didn’t account for increased car use due to a booming economy. So, instead of profiting by being a global green goodie, it will have to buy carbon credits to meet the shortfall, which will cost as much as $NZ1.2 billion. Worse, a consultant’s report released by the industry group Business New Zealand last year calculated a future liability of as much as $NZ14 billion under the protocol over the next 20 years.