Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Climate change: National reverts to type

National has never been keen on acting on climate change. While they've grudingly responded to public concern by talking up their environmental "credentials" (which include gutting the RMA - apparently removing environmental protections is considered a positive step for the environment in National's la-la land) and promising to act to curb emissions, they've continued to try and have it both ways, talking out of both sides of their mouth and having unfortunate reversions to pandering and outright Denialism. So it's no surprise then that National leader John Key - who once declared Kyoto to be "a hoax" - has eagerly greeted the New Zealand Institute's proposal that we "slow down" on climate change and let polluters externalise their costs for another decade, saying that they are "on the right track" and that "you need to balance your economic opportunities with your environmental responsibilities" (by completely ignoring the latter).

Just to make it clear, this means that National's climate change policy is now exactly what it was back in 2005, when Don Brash was in charge: do nothing, and withdraw from the only international instrument which might credibly begin to address the problem. Plus National change, plus c'est la même chose...

Update: But despite Key's words, apparently there's no change in policy. So, does this mean they won't withdraw from Kyoto, or that they were planning to do so all along?