Thursday, September 27, 2018

Climate change: Words are wind

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is at the UN this week, and she took the opportunity to promise that New Zealand would be a leader on climate change:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has recommitted to New Zealand being a leader rather than a follower on climate change mitigation in a speech to a major international conference.

Speaking at the One Planet Summit during the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, Ardern said New Zealand was committed to playing a "significant role on the world stage" in climate change mitigation.

"Our country has always been a firm supporter of strong multilateral solutions to global challenges. We may be small but Kiwis take the attitude that no problem is too big to solve.

"We were the first country to give women the vote, the first to set up a welfare state to support the poor during the depths of the depression and the first to scale the imposing heights of Mt Everest. We intend to be with you on the forefront of this challenge too.

"I believe, as firmly as ever, that a global response is required to meet the global challenge of our generation. With unity, ingenuity and innovation, we will meet this challenge head on and we will succeed."

Pretty words. But words are wind. What matters is actions, and on that front Ardern's government is busy pandering to the oil industry and trying to give them more time to destroy the planet. And they've laid the groundwork to pander to farmers and let them destroy the planet too. If Ardern wants her speech to be anything more than another exercise in political hypocrisy, she needs to significantly change direction in both areas, and make sure we actually act, rather than coming up with endless excuses to let polluters keep on polluting.