Friday, August 07, 2009

Climate change: Our policy of hypocrisy

The Pacific Islands Forum has wrapped up in Cairns with a call for serious action on climate change, with the final communique [scroll to Annex A] demanding:

We call for a post-2012 outcome that sets the world on a path to limit the increase in global average temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius or less.

We call on states to reduce global emissions by at least 50 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

We call on states to ensure that global emissions peak no later than 2020.

We call on developed economies to take the lead by setting ambitious and robust mid-term emissions reduction targets – consistent with the agreed science and the directions embraced by the Major Economies Forum Meeting in July 2009.

A 50% reduction in global emissions by 2050 means an 80 - 95% reduction by developed nations. Which makes our "50% by 2050" long-term target, and our expected 15% by 2020 short-term target look rather pathetic.

The Forum makes its decisions by consensus, so the New Zealand government agreed to this. But our policies are in stark contrast to what we have agreed to, what we are demanding from the rest of the world, and what is necessary to prevent dangerous levels of climate change. In short, National is making hypocrites of us, and pissing away both our mana and our "clean and green" image, so that their farmer-polluter mates can continue to profit from their unsustainable practices for a few more years.