Thursday, July 23, 2009

Climate change: More shame

Tokelau has become the latest Pacific island nation to declare a 100% renewable energy target. Like Tuvalu and the Maldives, Tokelau has a strong incentive to act: at only 4 metres above sea level, climate change could literally wipe their country off the map. And they can already see it happening...

The irony here is that Tokelau is still part of New Zealand, and every single one of its inhabitants is a kiwi. Our government's current policy is that their homes and livelihoods should be sacrificed without compensation in the name of higher profits for our polluting farmers. It is not "foreigners" our governments inaction is threatening - it is us.

Once again, the poor, who have the least responsibility for the problem and the least ability to respond, are being forced by necessity to lead the way, while the rich make excuses and lag behind. It makes a complete mockery of the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", and we ought to be deeply ashamed of it.