Monday, July 19, 2010

Climate change: Shamed again

Climate change talks are currently stalled, with rich polluter nations currently holding out for doing nothing - effectively commiting us to three degrees of warming and the consequent disease, famine and war which will accompany it. Sadly, our own government is part of the problem, with an utterly pathetic reduction target of 10 - 20% which is so hedged and conditional that it may end up being nothing.

Meanwhile, while we're stalling, the poor world are leaving us behind. Last year, the Maldives, Tokelau and Tuvalu all announced they were going carbon neutral. And now Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Samoa have joined them. These are some of the world's poorest, least developed countries. But they recognise that this problem affects all of us, rich or poor, and that doing something about it is a matter of national survival.

John Key claims he is "ambitious for New Zealand". On this issue, he's clearly not ambitious enough. We're meant to be a world leader on this issue, a champion for the environment. Instead, we are being outpaced by some of the world's least-developed nations. The Marshall Islands are offering a bigger emissions cut than we are. That's something we ought to be deeply ashamed of.