Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Climate Change: Hurry up and wait

Parliament is currently debating the declaration of a climate emergency. As part of this, the government is announcing that the public service will be carbon neutral by 2025. Which is fine, but on a similar scale to electric buses. Sure, it'll help (because every little bit helps). But its somewhat short of the scale of action we need to be taking. And it doesn't help that the government has already announced this policy, then failed to implement it. Supposedly they're resourcing it this time, and that This Time Will Be Different. But its not exactly inspiring, and the government has pretty much worn out any expectation of good faith on this.

The declaration is supposed to show that the government is taking this issue seriously. The "action" they've announced doesn't. In part that's because they're waiting on the process set by the Zero Carbon Act, the budgets and recommended reduction plans which will be released for consideration in May. But there's no reason they can't pre-empt that, and surely they could have come up with something more than this. Its not as if they don't have a pile of policy from last term waiting to go now Winston is no longer blocking the way. But instead, we've got a "hurry up and wait". Its an urgent problem, but we're not getting any real policy for half a year (plus however long it takes to implement it, so 2022). And that's assuming the government follows the Climate Change Commission's recommendations, rather than watering them down so the people destroying our country and our planet can keep on making their money.

And on the third hand, if they do that, this declaration will be great ammunition for the judicial review.