Image via WikipediaNationals implausible marginal response (the 15% PM. Key is 'targeting' for 2020) is business as usual.
Any functional profit motivated business would have to drop its emissions by 15% purely due to energy saving efficiencies that would be normal business practice anyway. It represents a do nothing goal state pretending to be fiscally responsible.
When betting against the planet, the planet always wins.
The Stern report made it clear that what ever solution is chosen, it had to be equitable and enduring. To do so NOW was the least cost option and the price of carbon had to have a specific measurable target. But Stern's estimate of 70-90 pounds per tonne range to see the changes required is unlikely to pass any National caucus muster. That according to Stern's percentage of GDP 'in now' [about 1%] to drive a low carbon, less energy economy would place carbon at arround NZ$250 per tonne.
Image via WikipediaAnd for carbon consumers, the ones that save, there could be a windfall selling the unused portion. If my 40% saving off my 9 tonnes per annum between now and 2020 is amortised to net present value based on collective perceived risk and corporate desire to risk manage carbon intensity my savings today are 3.6t x11yr x $250 = $9000 or about half a starbucks coffee/day. In eleven years time, I could expect $2 wont even buy the sugar!
Such a system would be a equitable property rights 'contraction and convergence' whereas Key's Brownlee's, Smith's et al represents the haves; all expansion and divergence. It engages no one other than accountants whose propensity for cost plus is legendary.
Social capital is intergenerational equity, if 40% reduction by 2020 is 'to big', a bridge to far, it will only be so because we waited to long to do what is required to fix it. It is population based stakeholder buy in that is required. Leaving it up to corporate greenwashing is a risk to great to bear.
Smith is a stool pidgeon.
The responsibility lies on Key's caucus's shoulders, not the chosen emissary to Copenhagen.