Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Climate Change: National are still dragging their feet

The terrible news on the climate recently - the IPCC report, the UN report on rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and the background drumbeat of places burning, flooding, or otherwise being struck by climate-induced disaster - has caused some to hope that the National Party might finally get it and vote to save humanity when the government's Zero Carbon Bill comes before the House. But if a speech climate change spokesman Todd Muller and regional economic development spokesman Paul Goldsmith gave in New Plymouth last week is anything to go by, National are still foot-draggers:

National are supporting a steady approach to climate change policy based on broad science, technology and a clear understanding of what other countries are doing, as opposed to ideology, climate change spokesman Todd Muller has said.


[National] wanted to ensure deliberations were informed by broad science, and available technology was recognised when sectors transition away from current activity, as well as having a clear line of sight on what the rest of the world are doing, particularly NZ's trading partners, he said.

And then we have the usual excuse-making: NZ's emissions are just 0.17% of the global total, strong action will undermine the economy, we shouldn't do anything until everyone else has. They specifically oppose acting against the gas industry, and they specifically oppose reducing cow numbers.

This is the same old mantra we heard when National was in office. The world is literally burning down, and rather than joining the fight, they're worried about how saving it might upset the status quo and put their donors and cronies out of business. Which means their policy is literally to let it burn.

In the current situation, this is simply not a credible position. And if the government is thinking of compromising with them for the appearance of unity, they should think again. "Compromise" with foot-draggers is actively dangerous to the climate, in that it locks in failure for the long run. Rather than making a deal which is not worth making and which cannot responsibly be kept, the government should legislate a strong target, and defend it at the next election.