nz flagReuters is reporting that New Zealand just approved a national cap-and-trade system to reduce climate pollution. Here are the interesting tidbits:

Trading of carbon credits begins in 2009 and Wednesday’s parliamentary approval means the system is the first national cap-and-trade scheme outside of Europe.

Neighbouring Australia has set a 2010 deadline for its scheme to begin operation.


The New Zealand trading scheme will phase in sectors across the economy and includes all emissions from forestry from 2008, transport by 2009, stationary energy such as coal-fired power stations by 2010 and agricultural waste by 2013.

About 60 percent of New Zealand’s power comes from hydro-electricity, while agricultural emissions, such as methane from livestock, comprise about half the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s happening folks. Cites, states, regions, and countries are taking the lead on this stuff. They won’t all do it the same way—and they won’t all do it perfectly—but the game is on.

What really perplexes me, however, is that New Zealand and Australia can reduce carbon when China isn’t doing it first. Don’t they realize that China pollutes more than they do? Isn’t it obvious that if China won’t do something first, then western countries shouldn’t either?

Hat tip to Eric Hess.