top of page

Subscribe Form

Thanks for submitting!

Search

BARRY BRILL: Will taxpayers be liable for Ardern’s vanity project?

Following my article HERE regarding ex-PM Ardern’s $30 billion donation, the NZ Herald has a story by Thomas Coughlan under the heading of: “Inside Treasury’s fight to keep $23b climate cost off the books”.

 

Both accounts refer to the Labour Cabinet’s extraordinary 2021 NDC (Nationally-determined Contribution) which promised not only to reduce New Zealand’s emissions by 47 Mt during 2021-2030 but also to buy 143 Mt of foreign carbon credits at the same time.

 

That absurd extra pledge – which Coughlan prices at $23 billion (but will probably be 50% higher) – does not yet appear in The Treasury’s fiscal strategy model (FSM).

 

Coughlan quite correctly describes this potential liability as “a fairly staggering sum”.

 

The Herald report details the failed efforts of the Green Party’s James Shaw to have the estimated cost of the 2021 NDC foreign credits appear on the national balance sheet.

 

These efforts were successfully resisted by The Treasury on the grounds that the Labour pledge failed to meet three “key steps” under the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practice) to justify booking a future liability

 

These key steps are illuminating:

 

1.    Obligation to pay somebody


The Treasury points out that NDCs are not legally enforceable. The entire theme of the Paris Agreement is that it is based on voluntary donations. Were it otherwise, the Agreement would be classified as a “treaty” and that would require a two-thirds ratification by the US Senate – which would never happen.

 

A further problem is that a book entry cannot be made without naming a payee. The 2021 Cabinet worked on the assumption that a respectable international market in carbon credits would rapidly evolve. But (as in so many things) they had this wrong. The Commerce Commission has officially advised that no such market is likely to emerge before the mid-thirties.

 

2.    Change in policy settings “improbable”


The Treasury no doubt hopes and expects that Nichola Willis, the new Associate Minister for Climate Change, will be repudiating the Ardern mega-donation and reintroducing some sanity into the process. For this reason, they cannot satisfy themselves that unchanged policy settings are “probable”.

 

On the other hand, James Shaw told the Herald that he had taken advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) and believes the ‘liability’ should be booked, because ”the country will have to pay the NDC offset costs one way or another”.

 

3.    Reliable estimate of quantum


The Herald reports that: “The forecast cost of [the NDC] varies wildly. A 2023 paper by Treasury, Ngā Kōrero Āhuarangi Me Te Ōhanga - Climate Economic and Fiscal Assessment, found, frustratingly, that the forecast cost of this mitigation had an uncertain” cost." 


But this uncertainty is largely fabricated. Under its only applicable scenario (advanced economies) the International Energy Agency (IEA) assumes a carbon price of $227 per tonne, so that the 143- million-tonne donation would cost in excess of $30 billion. (Coughlan does not explain how his $23 billion cost is derived).


“Pariah status”   


The Coughlan article goes on to suggest that vague extra-legal enforcement action might somehow be brought to bear by trading partners if the Ardern Government’s NDC is changed by the new administration: “…there is an implicit enforcement of Paris which is the pariah status that will likely be given to countries that flout it, and an explicit enforcement in the trade agreements with the likes of the European Union that require New Zealand to honour its Paris agreements”.


I am far from advocating that we should either “flout” or “dishonour” the Paris Agreement. Rather, I believe we should adhere strictly to its actual agreed terms and decline to be distracted by the motivated reasoning of campaigners, such as the Green Party or activist media. The New Zealand Government had the right to “nationally determine” its contribution in 2021 and it has the ongoing right to “nationally-redetermine” its contribution in 2024.


The term “pariah status” is palpable nonsense. Did either Japan or Canada gain such a status when they respectively withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol? Did the US become a pariah when it pulled out of the Paris Agreement in 2017 (and may do so again in 2025)?

The UNEP “Gap Report” at COP28 found that there was not a single developed country that was “on track” to meet its first NDC. Yet the OECD countries did not all send each other to Coventry.


Rather than huddling amongst the non-performers, our new Government should openly declare the $30 billion of offshore credits to be “a mistake” and warn that no such largesse will be forthcoming.


Later this year, the NZ Climate Commission (hopefully with new personnel) is charged with commencing public consultations on its recommendations for NDC-2. It can scarcely do that with a straight face when neither it nor the public has any idea what policy settings the Coalition Government intends to apply to NDC-1.



Barry Brill OBE JP LL.M(Hons) M.ComLaw is a former MP and Minister of Energy, Petrocorp director, and chair of the Gas Council, Power NZ, ESANZ, and EMCO. He is presently the Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

 

4,748 views118 comments

118 Comments


https://youtu.be/ZnW-sTwxeUM?si=I1fGEp-fGxY6hx0k

This is a video of the police putting their arse on the line.

Sorry for the quality.

Have a lovely evening all 👍

Aaron

Like
Replying to

For Christ's sake fucking grow up. I posted this as what the police are capable of when allowed to do their true job.

Get the fuck over yourself . They saved someone's life that day.

Grow up fella.

Aaron

Like

A raft of sound comments below (as I type on Sunday afternoon with Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc in hand). This comes to mind: Politicians, Bureaucrats, their laws and processes all make us accountable and face punitive measures should we err even the slightest. Clearly the entire system is broken where so called 'leaders' and assorted bureaucrats, advisers and so on can and clearly are absolved of all responsibility for things that they do.


As Prof Julius Sumner Miller would ponder: "Why is it so?" If the system was just, and not 'just a system' - then Jacinda and ALL those involved in this assault on all New Zealanders should be rounded up, divorced of ALL assets into the public purse and then thrown i…


Like

zekewulfe
zekewulfe
Mar 17

Off topic..... hmmmmm sort of.

But if you did not tune in I humbly suggest you spend your Sunday evening listening to whom should have been the PM of this country.


https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/politics/nz-first-leader-winston-peters-gives-state-of-the-nation-address/


Maybe next time. And if he was to make the position he was destined for... this old dude may even be tempted to swim back home

Like
basilwnz
basilwnz
Mar 18
Replying to

Although not a great fan of Winston over the decades, I must admit that I am enjoying the unconcerned confidence he shows when dealing with the left-leaning media types. That's how you do it.

Like

Cygnet 66 I have noticed the total and abject failure recently of females in position of power - ARDERN No 1/Shipley/Clark /Merkel/May (UK) Clinton/Yellen/Pelosi (USA) La Garde (France) . It will be interesting to see the future of the Major US top 500 companies now that females are in the majority in executive roles. I am not being mysoginist just reflecting facts whilst accepting that past Male failures are equally numerous but at a time when virtually all senior executives were male so the % woul reflect this. The point is positions of power should be filled with those who have demonstrated an ability to DELIVER result that actually benefit their employees/voters.

Like
caarnott
caarnott
Mar 17
Replying to

Most floundering countries and companies right now seem to be headed by airheads of the female persuasion.

Like

"On the other hand, James Shaw told the Herald that he had taken advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) and believes the ‘liability’ should be booked, because ”the country will have to pay the NDC offset costs one way or another”.

What a kiniving groveling little shit that man truly is. A made up liability for a made up problem that's going to cost this country dearly and deprive its own cizitens of things that really matter to us. This Virtue signaling bullshit.

It's almost beyond comprehension, and to the point of treason, to saddle new Zealand with a debt , and let's be honest about this, we simply cannot afford. It's unfair, unjust and utter…


Like
basilwnz
basilwnz
Mar 17
Replying to

Yep. The folk who are having a turn at governing us need to be very clear - they are us, and we are them. They are our public servants, that's all, yet holding much responsibility at our behest.

We know that there's much to fix after six years of socialist mayhem, but pretending to alter the world's climate and wasting our precious reserves at the same time will not cut it, no sirree.

Like
bottom of page