Thursday, March 23, 2023

Climate Change: More Labour sabotage

Not that long ago, things were looking pretty good for climate change policy in Aotearoa. We finally had an ETS, and while it was full of pork and subsidies, it was delivering high and ever-rising carbon prices, sending a clear message to polluters to clean up or shut down. And it was actually working: Marsden Point shut down, trimming a million tons a year off our emissions, and other smaller polluters were cleaning up or shutting up shop. Landowners were getting the message too, planting permanent forests to soak up carbon - and while those forests were pine, at this stage in the climate crisis, any tree is better than a cow. And we had a clean car discount scheme, to drive a switch to zero- and low-emissions vehicles in the small vehicle fleet, while discouraging dirty, inefficient utes where they didn't belong. And that policy was wildly successful too.

Of course, it couldn't last. Labour got cold feet over carbon prices, and so they fucked the ETS, dropping carbon prices off a cliff (they're now below $65/ton for the first time since late 2021), and destroying credibility in the market. In doing so, they ensured that business who had plans to clean up, wouldn't, because they could no longer be sure of the reward for doing so. And now, they're planning to fuck the clean car discount too, to avoid spending money on it:

Newshub understands hiking the tax on high emitters is not a realistic option so the Government's going to have to decrease demand.

Currently, the discount is available at varying rates to EVs, Hybrids and low-emitting petrol vehicles.

It's understood one option being considered is changing the eligibility. We're told it won't immediately move to EVs only.

But the Government could, for instance, remove the low emitting petrol vehicles like Swifts from the discount scheme to make it more sustainable.

You would expect the discounts in this scheme to move over time, to ensure it is always driving the fleet to become more efficient. But this is just because of austerity: the scheme is successful, "too many" people are buying fuel-efficient vehicles and "not enough" are buying dirty ones (in other words: it works, and it shows how little you need to push people to make the right choices). But rather than embrace that success, and take the opportunity to push progress faster and cut emissions early, locking in change and putting less carbon in the atmosphere, they'd rather sabotage their own policy - and the climate. Investing in positive change? Not under Labour.

(See also: their cowardly decision not to make half-price public transport permanent. Its like they're going out of their way to fuck things up).

Coming on top of other policy changes, its clear: under Hipkins, Labour is now sabotaging every successful climate policy they had. They're a party of climate sabotage, a party of climate criminals. If you want a stable climate, don't vote for saboteurs in October.