Yesterday, during an interview with Lisa Owen on The Nation, climate change Minister Tim Groser lied about NZ’s carbon emissions:
I want to look at our current targets. 5% reduction in emissions by 2020; 50% by 2050. …
So are we actually on track to reach that target, minus 5%?
Yes, we are.
No we are not. Here’s last month’s Ministry for the Environment Briefing to the incoming Ministers (pdf) on our emissions:
New Zealand has a long term target of reducing its net emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050. However, our gross emissions have increased by 25% since 1990, and are projected to rise substantially in the time to 2050, based on current settings.
So when Groser says we are on track to reach our emissions target he is, just like John Key before him, lying. And when called on it (good work Owen) he resorts to the same nonsense tactics as Key. The transcript above continues:
But your own ministry says that our net emissions are going up. In fact, in a briefing paper to you, they said that urgent collective action was required around this, and net emissions are up 20% under National.
Look, there are many different types of benchmarks and statistics. The ones that we are bound to meet are the ones within the Kyoto framework and the ones that we’ve copied and pasted into our next period, which is 2013 to 2020. But there’s all sorts of other projections out there. But the thing is we’re going to do what we said we would do.
So you’re happy with that? You’re happy that your own ministry is raising concerns about your level— our level of emissions? You’re happy with that? Up 20% under your watch?
Oh, listen, New Zealand is going to have to do more in this space over the next 30 years. This is absolutely clear. But what is also certain is that we must do in the context of more collective action.
What about over the next five years, Minister?
I’m more concerned about the next 25 years. What is absolutely crucial in this is that we have got more objectives than just climate change. We also have got jobs and enterprises—
Doesn’t that show a lack of commitment, then, if you’re not worried about this five years. Aren’t you making it someone else’s problem…
No, no, no.
…when it’s an opportunity for you and New Zealand to lead?
Only 7% of global emissions are covered by any type of price on carbon, whether it’s a cap in trade, an ETS scheme like ours or a carbon tax. We’re absolutely doing our fair share. And the key point is this — with 0.15% of emissions, as Sir Peter Gluckman, leading a team of climate change scientists pointed out, the real point of New Zealand doing something is simply its political economy contribution. So we want to be sure that we’re not crippling our economy until we can see more effective global action. Then we will increase the pace.
First instinct, lie. When caught, trivialise and try to deny the science. When pushed, argue that we have to wait for others (who are already moving). When cornered, plead that it’s all about the economy, and promise to act later. Groser is as bad as Key.
Hello National. There is no economy without the environment. This is too important to lie about.