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  The Implications for Households of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)  
  Background to the ETS                    
  Reaction to the introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme from July 1 demonstrates little to no understanding of how this has arisen. There are petitions against the ETS, lobbying by the likes of Federated Farmers and groups saying "emitters should pay". The time for these arguments has long past. Major supermarkets in Europe, New Zealand's premium price markets for lamb and dairy products, are already demanding carbon footprint and water use information. If they don't get the facts that they deem acceptable to consumers, we will go to the "also ran" bottom shelf. Farmers can bleat till the cows come home (no pun intended) but that is the market reality.
The fact is that when the Clark Government ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 New Zealand was committed to emitting (net of offsets such as carbon sequestering trees) no more than just under 310 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents in the first commitment period (1 Jan 2008 to 1 Dec 2012). Every tonne over that was going to cost whatever the then current market price of carbon credits might be.
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  While the Greens, the Sustainability Council and others keep saying "make the emitters pay, not families", they are deluded because any additional costs incurred by businesses are going to end up being paid for by the consumer ie families. [It would be like saying the oil companies should have absorbed any rises in the price of crude oil over the years. Yeah right! They nor any other businesses have the capacity to do that for any length of time.]  
   
   
  There are two mechanisms by which the Kyoto commitments can be delivered upon: the Government picking up any costs from the Consolidated Fund, ie Tax Revenues; or an ETS to collect all or some of the emissions costs directly from the users of GHG emitting products. Either way the consumer pays in the end. And that is where the responsibility lies. If polystyrene packaging, cling film wrapping, plastic bags, disposable naps, plastic bottles, et al were not a requirement of the modern consumer, our global carbon footprint would be very much less. [There is claimed to be an area in the Pacific Ocean the size of Australia with plastic floating around.] Every single one of us needs to change our requirement and purchasing behaviour if we want to make a difference, particularly fossil fuels.
I hear a big "I don't care, this is all bullshit". This is far bigger than just Climate Change: its about the unsustainable depletion of scarce resources. The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico at this time (June 2010) will influence deep sea oil drilling for many years to come. It has seen £200 to £300 billion wiped off the stock market value of BP. This is huge and will probably be the most significant determinant of future energy research in the world's history. We are going to see Oil Companies finally accepting that without a fundamental change of focus, they are in a sunset industry, probably in the lifetime of the youngest on the planet. By the way, this is the view of a realist, not an idealist although you may not be able to spot the difference.
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
  Calculations     This calculator is available free for non-commercial use.       
   
  Emission Trading Scheme and GST cost rises   Effective carbon price $    
  Petrol Assume            
  Vehicle use litres/100km   Cost increase  
  Annual distance kms   CO2e   Net excl GST Use  
  Petrol use   litres kg/litre  
  Diesel                    
  Vehicle use litres/100km      
  Annual distance kms                
  Petrol use   litres kg/litre  
  Reticulated Gas                    
  Annual use Kwhrs     kg/Kwhr  
  OR mj     kg/mjoule  
                       
  LPG (Heating/BBQ)                    
  9.5kg bottles pa     kg /kg  
                       
  LPG - Vehicle use litres pa   kg/litre  
  Electricity                    
  Usage kwhrs pa                
  Increase (Excl GST) per kwhr          
                       
  Total Emissions Trading Scheme costs    
                       
                       
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