Essay by Eric Worrall
… But people should be eating more plants anyway.
New Zealand farmers worry about carbon leakage if they have to pay for emissions, but they could benefit by playing the long haul
Published: Apr 12, 2023 5:29 am AEST
Anita WrefordProfessor of Applied Economics, Lincoln University, New Zealand
John Tobias Saunders Research Officer, Lincoln University, New Zealand
Meike Guenther Research Officer, Lincoln University, New Zealand
In fact, New Zealand is the first country to consider pricing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
New Zealand – also known as the Saudi Arabia of milk because of its dominant role in the global dairy trade – wants its farmers to pay a world-first agricultural emissions levy by 2025 to help reduce agriculture’s climate footprint. https://t.co/JS4Qm4YyEU
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 3, 2023
The latest price proposals would require farmers to pay a levy on their agricultural emissions. Initially, only 5% of emissions would be priced, with proposals to gradually reduce the 95% free allocation over time.
But Aotearoa is already one of the most efficient producers of meat and dairy products in the world. If we reduce emissions here, doesn’t that simply result in other, less efficient countries catching up on lost production while our farmers pay the price?
This idea is known as “carbon leakage” and is often used as an argument against any domestic policy that might lead to a reduction in agricultural production. The issue is important as New Zealand is heavily dependent on agricultural exports. In 2022, 65% of all trade in goods was in agricultural commodities.
This shows Leakage can occurwith reductions in the production of New Zealand dairy products. But World meat and dairy production by 2050 would be significantly lower than without the policies it would have been positive overall effect on the climate.
Read more: https://theconversation.com/nz-farmers-worry-about-carbon-leakage-if-they-have-to-pay-for-emissions-but-they-could-benefit-from-playing -long game -202839
What can I say – socialists, green or otherwise. Always the contempt for farmers – the impoverishment and destruction of agribusinesses because it serves a higher social goal, such as forcing more collectivization on the kulaks, or because making food production more difficult has “an overall positive effect on the climate.”
They always find a way to mess up food production.
It’s not inevitable that we’ll all switch to a plant-based diet.
A mass vegetarian diet would be a death sentence for millions of people. Many people, myself included, have metabolisms that can’t handle carbs and plant-based foods, we need to eat a lot of meat. It was only by switching to a very high protein diet that I was able to control my weight and regain my health. I’m not alone – my doctor and friends put me on the diet with the advice “meat is your friend”.
So what happens to New Zealand if carbon taxes shut down meat production?
I would like to say that they would simply import meat, but importing meat requires a functioning export economy to earn the foreign exchange needed to pay for the imported meat. All New Zealand export companies are affected by this CO2 tax craze.
Pretty soon, if this madness against the business climate continues, New Zealand’s only remaining foreign currency earnings will come from high-margin deals like offshore IT services or offering sex tours to rich Asians. And even these economic activities will suffer the devastating effects of New Zealand’s new carbon taxes.
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