Deputy leader Bill English yesterday late afternoon released what could barely be described as National’s policy on climate change. I was sorry to see such little detail on what they planned, despite his saying (again) that their structure would be in place within nine months. Surely they must know what they plan to do then? I also noted that it was slipped out under the cover of dusk, and curious as to why it was Bill English that presented, rather than Mr Key (or Nick Smith?). Perhaps it’s because Mr Key has something of a damaged reputation when it comes to climate change.
So, from past words, here’s some insight into Mr Key’s thinking:
1) Key gives one reason for why he’s saying something different now. Key: “I wasn’t going to go into the House and give a speech that completely contrasted with the leader at a time where everything I said was always contrasted with the leader as some sort of leadership ploy.’ Sunday Star Times, 28 Jan 2007
2) Key gives a different reason for why he’s saying something different now. Key: “My opinions on climate changes have now changed, based purely on scientific evidence.”(Southland Times, 30 Nov 2006 offline)
3) He says some are sceptical but not him: Key “The scientific consensus is clear: human-induced climate change is real and it’s threatening the planet. There are some armchair sceptics out there, but I’m not one of them.’ (Northern Regional Conference, 13 May 2007)
4) Key says he never thought any different. Key “I firmly believe in climate change and always have” (28 Nov 2006, Nine to Noon, National Radio offline)
But in the early days:
5) It’s a hoax and he’s suspicious: Key: “This is a complete and utter hoax, if I may say so. The impact of the Kyoto Protocol, even if one believes in global warmingâ€”and I am somewhat suspicious of itâ€”is that we will see billions and billions of dollars poured into fixing something that we are not even sure is a problem. Even if it is a problem, it will be delayed for about 6 years. Then it will hit the world in 2096 instead of 2102, or something like that. It will not work” (Hansard, 10 May 2005)
I’ve looked in vain to see a reaction from Labour regarding this latest policy – maybe they think people already are suspicous of Key on climate change.