National announced a ‘climate dividend’ this week that simply re-purposed ETS cash for tax cuts. Cathrine Dyer spoke to Christina Hood about what a real climate dividend looks like. (With fixed audio)
Appreciate this, Catherine, Christina and Bernard. It's this kind of reporting I signed up for.
I am so appalled at the short term thinking from Labour and National. I find it frightening that these
People are vying to “lead” us
We’re trying something new here. An interview on a political news topic or announcement with a non-partisan and non-conflicted academic or commentator looking at the alternatives, the pros and cons and the unintended consequences of the policy or announcement. It’s part of our shift towards more solutions-type journalism.
Thanks for the piece. Caused me to look into the Canadian program. Sorry (Canada) but I am not a fan. calling it "Climate Action" is Orwellian. Eligibility for the money, and how you spend the money, is in no way tied to anything to do with climate! You can just subsidise your next tank of petrol. Or buy beer. Or whatever.
The language around the program acknowledges this when talking about how lower income families spend more of their money on embedded carbon. Thus giving the ETS money back provides a rebate for (some) of that expense.
I'd much rather see big bold programs funded out of ETS monies. Not drip feed into the status quo. Let the increasing price of carbon do its work.
But good to have focused topics and guests outside the hoon format.
I think the discussion is overcomplicating the 2 big problems with the so-called climate dividend. It needs a couple hard-hitting paragraphs, not a lengthy discussion.
1) It's a substantial step backward. Redistribution of revenue from the introduction of carbon tax or ETS via a dividend makes sense as a baby step, early in the introduction of emissions charging. In contrast, we've had a comprehensive ETS for well over a decade. We have a complex framework led outside divisive politics by the CCC that helps allocate funding needed to incentives for emissions reduction, targeted reversals of the regressive social impacts of emission charges, and for adaptation (often in the face of events like Cyclone Gabriel). For now, the ETS revenue was a suitable amount to ring fence this framework. The framework isn't perfect and the ETS probably started too early, but now is the time we need it. The big step backward will defund and starve the framework we need to address climate change.
2) It's not even a carbon dividend. It's just a draw of whatever amount is convenient into the general fund (to fund tax cuts that don't seem to have the equity benefits of a carbon dividend).