Anyone who thinks that our economic troubles are over because the economy grew 0.1% is delusional. And no-one seriously believes that we don’t have to act quickly to stop the rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A Green New Deal is as necessary now as ever.
The Greens have come out with the second stage in their Green New Deal plan. The first stage was intended to generate 43,000 green jobs and create significant green infrastructure over the next three years at a cost of $3.3 billion. Unfortunately, the only aspect picked up by the government has been the home insulation programme, and that is a shadow of the plan put forward by the Greens (and supported by Labour).
The second stage is a longer term plan focused on afforestation. The Greens want to spend just under half a billion over ten years to create over 50,000 full-time job/years. They would do this by guaranteeing a minimum carbon price for private foresters, improving the Afforestation Grants Scheme and Permanent Forest Sinks Initiative that Labour set up, planting native trees on Crown land, eradicating pests that lower forest density, and eliminating wilding pines.
A good plan – less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, more jobs, a healthier environment, and all for a cheap price. And the Greens are promising more good ideas to come, if only the government would listen:
“In the coming months we’ll look to expand our Green New Deal programme. We want the public to be able to compare a Green Party response to New Zealand’s current challenges with that of the Government. But the Government would also be welcome and indeed encouraged to take up any of the measures we have proposed. Almost any of them would be more successful than almost anything Government itself has done so far. Unfortunately, to date the Government has taken up only one Green Party proposal the hugely successful home insulation scheme.
Many governments, international agencies, economists, leaders and academics are talking about a Green New Deal. In fact the New Zealand Government is almost a lone voice in not doing so! The Green Party is committed to showing that it makes economic and environmental sense for New Zealand as well.”