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James Shaw, Climate Minister: before us lies a simple choice

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, November 17th, 2022 - 13 comments
Categories: climate change, greens, james shaw, labour - Tags:

At the end of that Statement, Shaw says this,

In our region, 1.5 degrees is critical. This COP27 must re-affirm our commitment to 1.5, to Paris and to the decisions we made in Glasgow.

In our region, without adequate mitigation, we will not be able to adapt. And the losses and damages will be overwhelming and existential.

This COP must make progress on how we collectively manage loss and damage.

As ever, it will be the most vulnerable who will be the worst affected.

We cannot stand by and knowingly, willingly allow that to happen.

Tackling climate change is a once in a generation opportunity to build a future that is more equitable, more prosperous, and more innovative – and all within planetary limits.

But it is only through collective action and shared commitments that we will rise to the challenge and take that opportunity.

The only thing I want to say here is kia kaha James Shaw, we are very fortunate to have you leading this. For those about to start taking pot shots at Shaw for not doing enough, he doesn’t have a magic wand. He frequently points out that he and the government are not doing enough, and in order for that to change that we all need to act.

Subtext is we all need to act, but also, if we want faster and better change, vote Green because that is how government action will improve.

The Greens have some limited power being in parliament and holding the Ministerial portfolio on Climate. But Labour are a majority, single party government, and Shaw isn’t part of Cabinet (although he attends some meetings as Climate Minister). The cards are all in Labour’s hands until the Greens have enough MPs to work the system in all our favour.

In the meantime, Shaw and his team are making the changes that they can. If you think he can do more, please explain how, in detail. Not what you want to see the government do, nor vague handwaves to generic change, but on the ground, in the house, actions that Shaw could be doing within the parliamentary system.

Green Party Climate Policy

If you want to take some action, make a submission on Pricing Agricultural Emissions. (link to Green Party guidelines on submitting). Submissions close end of business day tomorrow (Fri 18 November).

Front page image from the Newsroom/Rod Oram’s Will this be the COP that loses the 1.5 C target?

13 comments on “James Shaw, Climate Minister: before us lies a simple choice ”

  1. The Greens currently will only work with Labour and have been sidetracked into virtue signaling and identity politics. Want to be more effective?

    Focus on climate change and the environment. Be willing to work with National as Labour are then threatened by a viable alternative to their limited policies and government partners. Climate change is a huge future issue that will require cross party focus. When a governments very survival is at stake, policy positions can be changed.

    That's how the Greens can be effective. If they don't take it, another party will ultimately replace them.

    • weka 1.1

      Here's a post where a co-leader of the GP is focused on climate, and it's still not good enough 🤷‍♀️

      The GP can't support National into government without running that past the members through a formal process. That's because the party works democratically.

      Two main reasons why such support for Nact would be a fail,

      1. there's not enough shared values or policy to form the basis of a relationship. If you think I'm wrong, please specify the policy ground that Nat and Greens share.
      2. the members would leave in droves. The Greens are a left wing party, they're not centrists.

      Of course, the GP are willing and have worked with National on individual policy. Shaw has worked on climate strategies that do exactly what you want: cross party acceptability. He gets a lot of shit from the left for this but it's good strategy from a green perspective. Centrists like yourself should be applauding him.

      • In Vino 1.1.1

        ‘Centrists' being something of a euphemism for 'Right-Wingers'?

      • gsays 1.1.2

        While I acknowledge the points you make about lacking common areas and Green membership in regards the Nats, it may be prudent for the Greens to signal the possibility of working with them.

        My reckons say Labour has treated the Greens any where from appallingly to giving the barest of crumbs.

        I echo yr sentiments about the asset Shaw is in regards his cross party efforts.

        • weka 1.1.2.1

          A week before the 2014 election Russell Norman hinted at working with National, and their vote dropped.

          I can't emphasise this enough: the GP membership are against the GP supporting Nact into government, as are many of the GP voters.

          It's death to the GP to play a game with this. Are you suggesting that the GP do go into a coalition deal with National? Or that they just pretend they might as a way of getting leverage over Labour?

          If the former, that's the end of the GP. If the latter, well the other thing that matters to the GP membership and green voters is integrity. The electorate will put up with bullshit from the right, and to an extend from Labour, but it won't with the Greens who voters treat as a kind of conscience for the country. If the GP pretend, I would expect them to get a lot of shit from MSM as well.

          Yes Labour hold on to as much power as they can. It's a problem that parties don't power share, but that's what our current system is set up for. Gains for the Greens come from a) presenting as competent and b) having policy that appeals to Labour voters and they switch their vote to Green.

          2020 was an anomaly because of the pandemic. In 2023 it's unlikely that Labour would get to govern alone. The trick now is to get enough of the centre voting Labour and enough of the left voting Green, so that we have a strong centre left government that is also progressive.

          Three points there.

          1. too many on the left, including those left of Labour, undermine the Greens every chance they get. This is the left shooting itself in the foot.

          2. the Greens want change not power, and effect change in whatever position they are in. If the centreleft vote collapses and we get a Nact government, there's the opportunity that they are freed up to be the strong opposition voice we need, especially on climate.

          3. the priority for the Greens is imo to retain their current number of MPs and if possible to increase them.

          • gsays 1.1.2.1.1

            A considered response, cheers.

            I was thinking more of an 'all options considered' approach. Maximise any leverage they may have. To 'dance' with The Nats may be an opportunity for Greens and Aotearoa to benefit from the Tories naked lust for power. See what bait they will rise to.

            I understand the response Norman got on 2014, although this was at a time of Peak Key, both in terms of his popularity and his unpopularity.

            Another option is combining with some of the minor parties as a negotiating block (TMP, ALC, TOP).

            The way The Greens run things, the membership deciding lots of things is laudable but could be its Achilles heel. By this I mean lots of strident, not negotiable decision makers losing their shit when their pet politics seem to have too smaller priority. This may be aligned to your point 1.

            Edit, to rule out the nats may leave out a lot of teal greens, cousins, I suppose, of champagne socialists.

          • Robert Guyton 1.1.2.1.2

            "If the former, that's the end of the GP. If the latter, well the other thing that matters to the GP membership and green voters is integrity. "

            That is SO the reality.

    • SPC 1.2

      Every environmentalist/conservationist in Enzed knows the centre of opposition to any action is NACT.

      The chance of National's bluegreens leaving to form a party to run on environmental policy was zeropointone.

      However in Oz the Teal (woman) independents emerged because the Liberal Party caucus was misogynist and led by ScoMo a Christian nationalist and global warming action obstructionist. With the selection of Luxon to lead the National Party there is a chance of something similar happening here – and would be Labour's best chance of returning to power quickly (after a defeat in either 2023 or 2026).

  2. SPC 2

    On the matter of agriculture emissions, it is not so much what we do but what change at the global level we can lead.

    Should not the Greens be advocating for a global policy and have the New Zealand government say they will adopt it as soon as other nations do?

    Maybe have a tariff on net emissions which would encourage optimum environment policy (such as sequestration via trees)? In this we might find the EU willing to listen and even the US while Biden is President.

    • Poission 2.1

      The agriculture emissions are part of the European plan 55 towards 2030.

      It was part of the German Greens then Netherlands move towards FF replacement.It has little to do with FF emissions as plan 55 is for substitution of FF with biofuels,and carbon capture through forest planting.

      To get the available fallow land ( 22 million hectares )they needed to both reduce pastoral farming by change of land use,and to enable carbon credits for biofuels (substituting for FF) The problem is there is no reduction in carbon emissions,the offsets are bullshit yet tradeable, Biofuels are more intensive carbon emitters due to the lower combustion properties.

      The collapse of Plan 55 (which includes retirement of the Nuclear fleet in lowland Europe,) and replacement of Coal with biofuel generation and Russian gas,seems to have become a very wicked problem,when stress tested.

  3. Ad 3

    Next time Shaw does a conference he just needs to talk about actual success and work, not the armwavey binaries.

    Childish protesters tried to shame out the NZ delegation on reparations, when we are only one of 3 countries in the world to even try it.

    COP27: New Zealand blasted for 'obstructing' fund for climate damage | RNZ News

    Our Pacific cousins and relatives could certainly do with the help,

    Government dumps $500m plan to raise sinking Pacific Island | Stuff.co.nz

    with Fiji preparing to move entire villages higher,

    How to move a country: Fiji’s radical plan to escape rising sea levels | Climate crisis | The Guardian

    but we have yet to introduce local legislation that would enable it here and won't this parliamentary term. Greymouth, Kaeo, Kaitaia, Invercargill and more just appear stuck, and largely driven by insurers. So many of the NZUP projects are simply making stop banks higher.

    Here's the Government's plan to manage 'the retreat of last resort' | interest.co.nz

    Both Shaw and Ardern have restored NZ's appalling Key government international climate reputation in policy terms, but the actual work done on ground is small.

  4. In the face of the obdurate behaviour by some nations, and NZs slow change, James Shaw keeps staying strong. He is a remarkable man who has brought disparate groups to the table here, but repeating that at Cop27 and achieving consensus for 1.5 deg seems so unlikely. I hope this does not crush his spirit.

  5. weka 5

    scale. Far more cows than humans. Afaik it's the emissions from all livestock and related farming practices, not just cows.

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