Thursday, February 09, 2023

Climate Change: Labour's dismal record

Writing on Newsroom about yesterday's appalling biofuels decision, Marc Daalder summarises Labour's dismal record on climate change:

It's hard to think of the last time there was a genuine "win" for the climate amid recent Government decisions. Late last year, Cabinet decided to artificially depress the carbon price because of cost of living concerns, going against the advice of the Climate Change Commission. Ministers also promised farmers a low emissions price in the He Waka Eke Noa scheme in December, again in conflict with the commission's view.

Add on to that the recent decisions to keep petrol cheap and dirty, and a clear picture of the Government's priorities comes into view. Yes, climate change is important - we heard that plenty from Jacinda Ardern, and Chris Hipkins has made a big deal of it since coming to power too - but when it rubs up against political imperatives, the pursuit for better polling wins out.

The voters of today may thank the Government for its efforts to keep petrol cheap but future generations will feel the real consequences of those decisions.

And a glimpse of those consequences - described as one of the most serious storms of the century - is currently barrelling towards Auckland. Which is ultimately how we will pay for Labour's weakness and inaction: in storms and floods and death and destruction.

If we want any hope of limiting the damage in the decades to come, we need to move beyond Labour's pathetic Augustinianism - "we will act, but not yet!" - and actually start acting now. We clearly won't get that from Labour. We certainly won't get it from National. If we want a future, we need a Green government.