A classic ‘cake and eat it’ from Crosby/Textor National has been their approach to climate change – stating they support tackling this issue but opposing every policy that has been developed. The latest example is their position on the ETS, which No Right Turn explains beautifully:
Reading the National Party’s minority report [PDF] on the Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill, you could be forgiven for thinking that National actually cared about the issue. In it, they advocate fixing a long-term emissions reduction target in legislation, push for the early entry of nitrous oxide into the scheme, and criticise the decision to delay the entry of the transport fuels sector as undermining the market.
Unfortunately, it’s all hot air. In response to that minority report, the Greens wrote to the National Party seeking details on their alternative proposals, with an eye to amending the bill during the committee stage. National’s response was disappointing, with Key refusing to answer any specific questions or state publicly what its position actually is. So, they’ll criticise, but not say what they’d do differently; promise a real alternative, but not say what it is; pretend constructiveness, while actually trying to impede any progress. In short, pure bad faith. And they expect to be able to work with other parties post-election? Not if they behave like this.
There is a positive side, however: if National has no real alternative, but is just criticising for the sake of it and to dogwhistle the deniers, then it strengthens the case for the Greens to support the ETS. After all, imperfect controls now are better than no controls at all in the future. And there’s always the possibility of bringing a bill to strengthen it post-election should the numbers work out that way.