Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Climate change: the review

The Order Paper is out, and it includes the details of Nationals' special climate change review committee. The good news? We got an all party committee, and the terms of reference no longer include a review of the basic science. The bad news: the rest of the terms of reference are completely unchanged, there is no deadline, and the committee has been stacked from the beginning, with National and its support parties having 7 seats out of 11 on the committee (compared to only 56% of the House), and slots reserved for Rodney Hide and Peter Dunne, two of Parliament's most retrograde MPs on this issue (Ministers sitting on a select committee is also a little odd - but they're clearly there by special request).

So, National's strategy will be "it will cost too much", "we should switch to a carbon tax" (another two years down the drain) or "we should wait and see what happens at Copenhagen" (which is exactly the argument they used 12 years ago when they dumped our first attempt at a carbon tax). Delay and diversion rather than denial, but the effects will be the same: rising emissions, a free ride for our worst polluters, and untold damage to our "clean and green" image and international reputation.