Friday, June 15, 2018

Climate Change: National's forked tongue

So, National says it wants to work with the government on climate change:

National leader Simon Bridges has offered bipartisan support to the Government on climate change.

Bridges wrote to the prime minister on Friday saying he wants to help find cross-party support for a non-political Climate Change Commission.

"In order to drive long-lasting change, broad and enduring political support is needed for New Zealand's climate change framework - on the institutional arrangements we put in place," Bridges wrote.

"I am confident that we can work constructively together to establish an enduring non-political framework for future governments and parliaments when considering climate change issues."

Which sounds great. Except there'll be a price - and that price will be to water down policy to make it virtually pointless.

Don't believe me? Just look at their record. In the 90's, when in government, National repeatedly delayed and prevaricated, in the end producing two climate change policies and then refusing to implement either of them. Then when in opposition from 1999 to 2008, they opposed any action whatsoever, no matter how mild, even driving a tractor up Parliament's steps to oppose farmers paying a small contribution towards researching ways to reduce the pollution they caused. And their first action on winning power in 2008 was to repeal a bunch of climate change policy and gut the ETS to turn it into a pollution subsidy scheme. So no, I don't think they can be taken at face value, or trusted in the least on this issue. Their only interest in it is to delay or prevent action and ensure a free ride for their farmer cronies.

The government wants effective action. National doesn't. There is no middle ground here - ineffective action is pretty much the same as no action at all. As for what to do, National's support would be welcome, but the government shouldn't compromise one iota to win it. At that price, their support is not worth having.