Thursday, January 31, 2008

The State of the Environment

The government has just released a State of the Environment report, its first for ten years. Unfortunately, the picture it paints isn't so rosy, with our environment under significant pressure from spiralling greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution from the "dairy boom", and little progress made on restoring native biodiversity. On the plus side, we've protected more land, improved air quality somewhat, and have good policies in place to reduce waste and greenhouse gases, but we clearly still have a long, long way to go.

I should add that the publication of this report is a nice victory for National's Nick Smith, who has been advocating regular environmental reporting for some time. Now we'll be seeing regular reports every five years, which combined with the new national environmental indicators, should give us a concrete picture of where we're doing well and where we need to work harder.