Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Climate change: The cost of inaction

A couple of days ago I highlighted National's opposition to all actual policies to reduce emissions. Now, the government has put some numbers on the cost of that, and it is staggering: nearly 24 million tons by the end of the decade:

Labour says National’s promises to repeal its climate policies will see an extra 23.92 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions in the atmosphere by 2030.

“Our modelling shows that the net effect of constantly opposing policies to reduce emissions leaves [National leader] Christopher Luxon with a hole greater than Auckland’s annual emissions twice over if he keeps New Zealand’s climate targets,” Labour’s climate change spokesperson and Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said.


The figures come from modelling prepared by the Ministry for the Environment which tallied up the emissions the policies would reduce for the Government. Labour has taken those calculations and added them together to calculate how much emissions would increase by if National won the next election and repealed the policies.

Unmentioned in the Herald article is the financial cost of this: $2.1 billion at today's carbon price, or nearly $3.6 billion at the government's internal valuation of $150/ton (which is almost certainly too low). By opposing all actual policy, that's what National is committing us to pay. Its fiscally as well as environmentally irresponsible.

But underlying it is the real problem: National ostensibly accepts that climate change is a problem, and supports action, but in practice refuses to do anything about it. In this, they're basicly indistinguishable from climate change deniers. And that should exclude them from government forever.