Monday, November 26, 2018

Climate change: Cross-party?

Over on Newsroom, Rod Oram has a long column on National and the upcoming Zero Carbon Bill, arguing that cross-party support is ncessary for the policy to work, and urging National to listen to the climate leaders in business rather than the "foot-draggers in farming". Which would be nice if it happens, but I suspect the reality will be that National demands the policy regime be compromised to protect those very foot-draggers (for example, by excluding methane from the target) as the price of their support. And then the question becomes "is a fatally compromised deal worth it"?

I would argue that it is not. Cross-party support for a compromised target is cross-party support for failure. And this is a challenge we can not afford to fail on. A long-lasting, politically durable regime that does not do what is required is worthless. In fact, its worse than worthless, in that it locks in failure for the long-run.

If National bows to its foot-dragging instincts and demands an inadequate target as the price of their support, the government should refuse. Instead, they should call out National for wanting to destroy the planet, legislate a strong target, and run on defending it at the next election.