Fact check ‘surplus carbon credits are clean’ – Whiteboard Friday:

Gareth MorganEnvironment4 Comments

The debate is heating up about the ratification of the Paris Agreement, and in particular whether New Zealand should use surplus credits from the past to meet our future obligations. The Green Party has pointed out that the only reason we have this surplus is because in the past we dealt in fraudulent foreign credits which we discussed in our report Climate Cheats.

In this video we take you through what happened so you can make up your own mind. And to make sure you get it we threw in analogy about a Moro bar, a dairy and everyone’s apocryphal dodgy Uncle Trev.

Fact check ‘surplus carbon credits are clean’ – Whiteboard Friday: was last modified: September 5th, 2016 by Gareth Morgan
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Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

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Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand economist and commentator on public policy who in previous lives has been in business as an economic consultant, funds manager, and professional company director. He is also a motorcycle adventurer and philanthropist. Gareth and his wife Joanne have a charitable foundation, the Morgan Foundation, which has three main stands of philanthropic endeavour – public interest research, conservation and social investment.

  • Duncan Cairncross

    This whole thing annoys me
    We should be sweet as with all of our hydro power
    Instead we are NOT and we pay more for electricity than anybody else!

    We should be in good order for carbon credits AND have some of the cheapest electricity on the planet
    It’s hydro power! – no fuel costs and all of the hardware has been paid for three times over

    How the hell did our government(s) manage to screw up so massively??

    • Matt

      Sorry to disappoint but 1990 levels were taken as the zero for Kyoto emission reductions. Roughly speaking, all the hydro capacity in use at that date contributed nothing to future obligations arising from increased electricity demand. Unfortunately, it seems you may have bought in to the spin perpetrated by John Key and others. Kyoto was all about curbing the increased emissions from the 1990 baseline. IMO, we have done a desperately pathetic job. But so too has the whole world under the drug of Western neoliberalism.

      As for the price of electicity, you may want to want to call neoliberalists, such as Max Bradford and Roger Douglas, to account for that disaster. Or the succession of neoliberal governments (Labour and National) in NZ since the 1980s. More recently, Bill English, for exacerbating the damage with partial asset sales.

      The NZ electicity industry is a crazy mishmash of entities and ownership, with ineffective regulation, and regulators and a government that are increasingly showing they are captive of business interests.

      It is the capture by business interests (a hallmark of neoliberalism) that explains the screw up.

  • Matt

    In a world of financial instruments, individual responsibility and individual ownership, the morality of this situation is crystal clear. NZ must be called to account for perpetuating a fraud when we knowingly used the credits at the end of the first Kyoto period.

    The analogy makes me wonder if there are any court judgements that would further indicate how to resolve the situation.

    Obviously, the originators of the fraud must be be called to account too.

  • Matt

    Is Paula Bennett really stupid enough or dishonest enough not to clearly understand the moral obligation? Too much time in the sphere of influence of a former Forex trader.