Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Climate Change: D-Day

The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or retreat forever into being the party of climate arson, and whether NZ First will still be backing it, or whether they will be sabotaging it at the last minute.

While the framework established by the bill is good, the targets it sets are inadequate. They were fine for 2008, when the bill was drafted, but there's been a decade of unchecked emissions since, meaning we now need to cut deeper and faster if we are to stay within a safe carbon budget. I told the select committee in its hearings that with the way the news was going, the present targets would simply mean that they'd be back in five years time to strengthen them. And I think that that is exactly what will happen. Rather than delivering "certainty", this bill is simply another excuse for inadequate action. And we are all going to pay the price of that.