Thursday, November 07, 2019

Climate Change: Passed

The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up.

I am on record as saying the targets in the bill are inadequate. I stand by that. They were fine for 2008 when the bill was drafted, but a decade of inaction means we have to cut faster and deeper than we would have needed to if we'd acted back then. And with the way the news is going, I think that parliament will be back to shave at least a decade off that target. And the sooner it does it, the better.

Unfortunately, thanks to Green co-leader James Shaw's commitment to "bipartisanship" - making concessions to National in the foolish belief that they will not be reversed the moment the balance of power shifts - that may not be possible. At least, it may not be posisble with him. This is his bill, his deal. As with the agriculture sellout, if we want better policy, he has to go.

Earlier in the week I heard someone quote Jacinda Ardern about how she wanted the bill to settle the issue, and how she didn't want to see any more school-strikes or tractors driving up Parliament steps. Farmers are planning to do exactly that on November 14, and the next global climate strike is on November 29. So, it looks like she will have both by the end of the month. Which is what you get for selling out: you don't please your opponents, while angering your supporters. And if that sellout costs her her government in the end, then that's the judgement of the voters on her compromises.