Wednesday, November 09, 2011

National on the environment

National finally released its environment and climate change policies today, in the process showing how little it cares about these issues. Most of the policy document [PDF] is taken up with blather about what they've supposedly done and the obligatory section on how "Labour would take us backwards". As for the actual policy proposals, they're rather thin and unappealing. We have a promise to introduce comprehensive environmental monitoring - a good idea, but they also promised to introduce it last election as well, and didn't. We have a promise to introduce the EEZ legislation the government has been working on for a decade (which means its not really a significant new policy, but just business as usual). And some kibble around funding for cleaning up lakes and rivers and toxic sites and setting up a recycling programme for old TVs. On the big environmental issues of the day - dirty dairying and offshore drilling - there's complete silence.

And then there's the climate change policy: a further weakening of the ETS and blank cheque to farmers, with a price tag of half a billion dollars (which goes straight into the pockets of polluters). Again, its the underpants gnome theory of pollution control: you pay polluters to pollute, and this (by magic, despite every economic theory to the contrary) is supposed to make emission reduce. And if you believe that, I have a "20% by 2020" target to sell you...

National's climate change policy was already a joke. This turns it into a complete farce. The message is clear: there will be no real action on climate change under National. If you care about these issues, you should vote accordingly.