Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, April 14th, 2018 - 18 comments
Categories: capitalism, climate change, Economy, energy, Environment, global warming, greens, james shaw, science, sustainability - Tags:
The two greatest powers at work in the world right now are the roles of global finance, and climate change.
In New Zealand we don’t yet see how these intersecting worlds of finance and climate change are interacting, or the government’s role in forming that interaction.
To give a sense of the pieces this government is putting together to address climate change, here’s the initial view of what role the government could have about managing finance markets in this interests of New Zealand within climate change. The report that Minister James Shaw launched today to a business audience states there are four kinds of role the government can adopt: “1. Direct investor, 2. Investment manager, 3. Market Maker, and 4. Trailblazer.”
That debate opens today.
The paper was prepared prior to a change of government for the Ministry for the Environment in mid 2017.
The Minister is seeking something exceedingly bold and difficult: he wants his climate change legislation to have the support of both sides of Parliament.
And persuade the 1%. Because that is where the money is.
In order to do that he needs the fulsome support of the business community for the proposals.
In order to do that he needs proposals.
To do that he needs a Climate Change Commission.
But the work is too pressing so he needs interim appointees.
And he needs to work the business community with research pieces like this.
Softening the ground. Preparing the way. Stabilising the discourse beyond the binary.
As the launch of the decision this week to not release further offshore oil blocks for exploration, the Prime Minister made it very clear that she wanted to see a “transition plan”. It was as high level as that, and honestly pretty empty. But at least she knew she wanted to avoid the restructure crises and wholesale industrial collapses from 1984-1988.
So what Minister Shaw is doing – seeking to form a compact between business and key stakeholders and a left-leaning government towards addressing climate change – really is as hard as it looks. The result of New Zealand’s last restructure of this kind of scale was a complete change in our entire electoral system, to seek to ensure no such wholesale and poorly mandated change ever occurred in New Zealand again.
Minister Shaw’s task is to form the discourses, the processes, the proposals, and the legislation to restructure New Zealand about climate change.
Who knows if Ardern, Shaw, and the rest of this government has enough time to achieve concrete stuff, from enacted legislation about climate change, before the term runs out.
This approach will take time. Neither global finance, nor the climate, have much use for time.
But this is a government determined to take its people with them.