Monday, May 20, 2024

Climate Change: The question we need to be asking

One of National's first actions in government was to dismantle climate change policy, scrapping the clean car discount and overturning the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry, which had given us Aotearoa's biggest-ever emissions reduction. But there's an obvious problem: we needed those emissions reductions to meet our carbon budgets:

Treasury estimated GIDI would have generated 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide savings between now and 2050 - between five and 10 times the savings it expected from Labour's EV subsidies (which were also scrapped) over the same period.

A November slide presentation by energy officials, obtained by the Labour Party, warned ministers that killing GIDI could leave a gap in cutting heavy industry's emissions from 2026-2030, when GIDI had been expected to do most of the work of cutting industrial emissions.


"We need both supply and demand side policies. While supply side enablers such as consenting policies [helping renewable generation] are necessary, they won't be sufficient to deliver our climate targets, as they do not by themselves decrease emissions.

"We will also need policies that prompt demand shifts from fossil fuels to renewable energy."

National airily says it will just rely on the ETS. But the amount of decarbonisation needed requires prices of $200 / ton - and National's ETS price settings consultation suggests they're wanting to move in the opposite direction and keep carbon cheap (and emissions high) to satisfy their corporate polluter friends. Meanwhile, meeting our emissions budgets is now officially one of the government's nine key targets. Which invites the question: how do they plan to do it, without any policy?

Climate Change is the biggest challenge facing this country, and the planet. We're already looking at a vastly higher rate of droughts, floods, fires, and cyclones because of it, and it is only going to get worse (plus of course famine, war, and international instability). More immediately, and in terms National's bean-brains might understand, we are facing a $23 billion liability if we fail to meet our 2030 Paris target. National needs to tell us how they are going to reduce our emissions, meet our commitments, or minimise that cost. Luxon's sociopathic corporate manger IBGYBG, someone else's problem approach just doesn't cut it.