Friday, November 08, 2019

Climate Change: As predicted

Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon the Paris Agreement 1.5 degree target. Get the Commission to review the use of forest sinks, so the Minister can ban them and protect inefficient farmers from market forces. Remove the (weak) statutory methane target and instead have it set after a review by the Commission - allowing the Minister to weaken it still further. Oh, and let the government give up because its too late to do anything - clearly National's preferred position on climate change. So, what was the point of trying to compromise again?

The government wanted "political consensus" and policy durability. They have failed, and they were always going to. National simply has too strong a denier streak for them to ever accept effective policy on this issue. The only way that is ever going to happen is if the government simply enacts strong policy, makes it reality, and dares them to repeal it - just as they did with the anti-nuclear law.