Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Climate Change: Freeloaders

Last night in Glasgow nearly a hundred countries pledged to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, and as expected New Zealand was among them. But will this result in any change in policy or increased emissions reductions? Of course not:

New Zealand has joined more than 100 countries pledging to reduce methane over the next decade.

Collectively, signatories to the pledge – officially launched Tuesday (Wednesday NZ time) – are aiming to reduce the greenhouse gas by 30 per cent by the end of the decade.


Climate Change Minister James Shaw​ confirmed that the Government would not introduce any new methane policies or targets as a result of the new initiative.

So we're planning to cut methane by 10%, or maybe 12%, around a third of what we've pledged. The government's excuse for this is that the target is "collective", across all parties. But think about what this means: we're signing up for something, with no intention of doing what is required, and instead we're expecting other countries to do the heavy lifting. We're freeloading off their efforts. Which makes it seem like the sole purpose in signing up in the first place was to generate positive "doing something" headlines for a government hoping that no-one would read the fine print (rather like their new emissions reduction target).

This is New Zealand's long-term climate change policy in a nutshell: sign up, do nothing, let emissions increase, use that increase as an excuse to do nothing in the future. We deserve better than that. We deserve a government which doesn't lie to us - and the world - to our faces. We deserve a government which will actually act and cut cow numbers. And we're clearly not going to get that from the current bunch.