Monday, October 18, 2021

Climate Change: A good move, but not enough

The government has announced that it will quadruple climate aid to developing nations, from $300 million to $1.3 billion over four years. This is good: "climate finance" - aid to developing nations to decarbonise and offset the damage caused by rich-country emissions - is going to be a flashpoint at COP26, thanks to rich countries' effectively reneging on their previous promises, and it looks like we'll at least be doing our bit there. And unlike some countries, Aotearoa will probably actually pay it, rather than announce funding which mysteriously never arrives.

At the same time, what really matters is actual emissions cuts, and on that front we're a foot-dragger, with a weak target (one which relies on buying "offsets" from other countries to boot), and constantly special pleading to protect our dirty agricultural industry. The emissions reduction consultation last week effectively abandoned ambition, allowing higher emissions while ignoring agriculture. If we want to actually do our bit, we need to do better than this, with strong commitments for real emissions cuts, including a 30% reduction in agricultural methane by 2030. Shaw has said he will be taking a stronger target to Glasgow, but given Labour's past performance, I'm not expecting anything other than the usual disappointment.