Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Not consulted

Currently, the government is revising its climate change policies. As part of this process, they've been consulting with stakeholders in an effort to both inform them and solicit their views on proposed changes to policy. However, there's a glaring absence from this consultation process: environmental groups and climate change NGOs.

According to papers released under the Official Information Act, the government held a series of one-on-one consultation meetings in early February, followed by a "stakeholder engagement day" on February 16th. Of the eleven one-on-one meetings, one was with an environmental group, the Climate Defence Network. The other ten were with major emitters (Holcim, New Zealand Refining, Fonterra) and electricity generators. The stakeholder engagement day was even worse, with a guest-list made up exclusively of corporate and industry lobby representatives, and no environmental representation at all. With consultation like this, its no wonder that climate change policy is veering towards representing the interests of the business community, rather than wider society... but I guess the rest of us simply aren't "stakeholders", despite the fact that we'll be the ones living with and paying for the effects of the government's policies.