Thursday, October 01, 2020

Climate Change: Why won't Labour listen to its voters?

Jacinda Ardern came into office promising action on climate change, which she infamously called "my generation's nuclear-free moment". But while her government has enacted some useful climate change policy this term, its been under the handbrake of Winston Peters, who has vetoed policies like bringing agriculture into the ETS and the EV feebate scheme. But when running for re-election, Labour has not offered the action you'd expect them too, instead offering little more than the status quo, with business-as-usual energy and transport policies, and no push to limit agriculture, end pollution subsidies, or let carbon prices rise so the ETS can do its work. And this despite knowing that our policies are insufficient to meet our targets (meaning the government will have to buy credits on the international market, assuming it is allowed to), which are in turn insufficient to meet the Paris goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees (and the government agrees with this assessment). The gap is all the more inexplicable when you learn that only 30% of Labour voters agree with their current pathway, and nearly 60% of them want urgent, radical action now:


[Graph stolen from Stuff]

The majority of Labour voters want their party to live up to its rhetoric on the most important issue of our age. So why won't Labour listen to them?

[Meanwhile, that graph shows just how regressive National and ACT are, and why we are well rid of NZ First. I'd be interested in seeing the age breakdown, but the natural suspicion is that its just a straight-out generational difference between those who expect to have to live with the consequences of climate change, and those that don't. Except as should be obvious, we are already living with the consequences, and its only going to get worse from here on].