Monday, November 14, 2011

Lignite - because the atmosphere needs more carbon.

A while ago, I can't remember where, Jeanette Fitzsimmons, the ex-leader of the Green party pointed out on of the problems with an emissions trading scheme. Primarily that if you allow business to trade back and forth, it doesn't necessarily stop more carbon being pumped into the atmosphere. It was relevant at the time because Solid Energy was in the news with their plans of turning a whole bunch of lignite (really, really low quality coal) into fuel. Businesses can buy and sell credits so as to be able to use this coal, but either way, if it goes ahead, it will still be taking more carbon out of the ground and putting more into the atmosphere and oceans. Any serious environmental policy needs to be directing the development of sustainable power sources, rather than tacitly condone the extraction of more carbon. It's nice to see that the Labour party have finally acknowledged that. The Greens have been banging this drum for ages now though and this one of the areas I actually fully agree them. National sadly still think we've got time for a nice quiet, don't startle the horses (business) approach. So, so wrong.

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