Monday, May 05, 2008

Climate change: a "new direction"

National have noticed the increase in our Kyoto liability, and have issued the usual press release blaming it on Labour's "repeated costly policy failures" such as the carbon tax and animal emissions levy (as usual there's no mention of National's inaction, that they opposed those policies, or that their strident opposition was key to their failure). The empty noise is capped off with a claim that

"New direction is needed on climate change policy. National's approach will be less rhetoric and big spending and more practical, effective initiatives."
Which begs the question: what exactly would National do differently? Where would this "new direction" take us?

Unfortunately, the signs aren't promising. Over the last few days we've learned that National now opposes the biofuels obligation (which just a year ago Nick Smith was claiming as his own), better public transport in Auckland, and the inclusion of transport in the ETS. They oppose the inclusion of agriculture in the ETS. They think coal is "sexy", and that we should dig it up and burn it to ensure their corporate donors have cheap electricity. And its not clear where they stand on a successor to Kyoto (maybe someone should be asking them that).

Those with a memory longer than that of a goldfish may realise that this isn't a "new direction" at all; rather it's the same old direction of doing nothing while letting emissions rise. And that is neither practical, nor effective.