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Key lacks leadership on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 5:02 pm, May 19th, 2008 - 26 comments
Categories: climate change, john key, slippery - Tags: , ,

National has pulled its support for the emissions trading scheme which is intended to set limits on the emission of greenhouse gases and penalise polluters. This is the latest in a long line of Key’s shifting positions on climate change.

First climate change was a “complete and utter hoax”. Then as the environmental mood gained momentum Key tried to have a bob each way, imploring us to be “fast followers” rather than leaders. Now as the mood and polls shift again and National’s big business backers start to squirm, Key’s done an about face on the emissions trading scheme.

What’s increasingly clear is that Key’s not prepared to exert leadership when it comes to climate change. It’s worse than that though – this time he’s decided to put his own political ambitions ahead of the good of the country.

Rod Oram was on National Radio this morning commenting on the National Party reversal on the emissions trading scheme. I’ve paraphrased Plunket’s questions below (I made the last one up) and quoted portions of Oram’s answers. It makes for a good summary of the facts. The full audio is here (MP3).

Has the scheme been rushed?

“This isn’t rushed, this has been a process now through two different policy frameworks, or attempts at policy over the last six years or so, and, and there has been a lot of good work gone into it.”

What about Key’s suggestion that we should work with the Aussies?

“That’s already going on… [though] Australia’s challenges are completely different from ours”

Do we really need to act now when most of our major polluters, like agriculture, don’t come under the scheme for years and years?

“The moment the scheme is in place and they understand what their obligations are, they will start thinking and managing around that, um, but if that discipline is not in place, they won’t”

Isn’t it true though that National is absolutely committed to an emmisions trading scheme?

“Every single business lobbyist that has walked into the select committee, that is opposed to this emissions trading scheme, sounds just like John Key. They all say we are in favour of the scheme, but it’s unworkable in its current form”

Is there anyone else behind the legislation or is the Government just ramming it through?

“Really good work is being done by business leaders, there are 34 of them in the leaders’ forum, and also through the technical advisory groups. Work has been done to improve the design and compromise in the constructive sense, which is exactly what happens in the Parliamentary process to get a good piece of legislation.”

26 comments on “Key lacks leadership on climate change”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein 1

    You guys just don’t know how funny you are!

    [lprent: Why exactly? It is a meaningless statement without some kind of definition about why it is funny.
    Looking at your comments, the only time you look human is when ‘sod winds you up. Otherwise I could write you as a randomizing phrase lookup – no AI required.]

  2. erikter 2

    “Otherwise I could write you as a randomizing phrase lookup – no AI required.”

    lprent, you’ve become so pompous, overbearing and censorious. Why is that?

    Don’t you like dissenting opinion or must everybody toe the line you would like see imposed at The Standard?

    [lprent: If you take the time to look. It isn’t dissent that I’m targeting. I disagree with almost everyone here, including most of the posts. Most people of all persuasions don’t get my attention.
    However:-
    I hate spam.
    I hate pointless schoolyard level bickering.
    I hate flamewars.
    I’m cleaning out the spam and looking for problems everyday. So I take steps to ensure I don’t have to read repetitious crap. If you consider that killing those things are censorship, then that is your problem. Live with it or leave.

    PS – I like cleaning code generating log files as well for the same reason. It all looks like lousy programming to me. Mindless content filling valuable bandwidth]

  3. darryl p 3

    Lprent has pulled her support for Adolf’s emissions.

  4. higherstandard 4

    I think even Lynn will have a good laugh at that one darryl

  5. lprent 5

    🙂

    Maybe a fart tax?

    Nope, a spam tax…. That would be possibly the most popular policy any party could do. Of course I don’t know how you’d you’d implement it. But that has never stopped a populist politician before.

  6. randal 6

    lprent I think you are being very polite by supplying an explanation where in fact none is needed for what is boorish behaviour. caveat blogtor…hehehehehe

  7. lprent 7

    Well you know how it is. Even a bastard sysop from hell has to be aware that people have to have time to learn. So I warn at least once, and look for behavior changes.

    Specifically I look for those rather strange behaviors of trying to argue with a sysop, or trying to run a justification defense. It takes a bit to rouse a sysop because there are so many other more interesting things they could be doing. But they always have a look around before acting, and there is no court of appeal. So both behaviors are an exercise in futility, and display an inability to learn.

    Right now. I’d rather find out why those names on the right sidebar are indented. Some kind of css conflict after I put the re-edit into comments. Or figuring out how to wsiwyg the comments area. Fixed the first one.

  8. rowan 8

    Rod Oram should be prime minister. He always sounds so sensible.

    This looks like another hollow political gesture from Key, motivated mostly by the attacks on the scheme by business groups. I don’t know if there is declining public support for the ETS, but as the media seem to have reported the business case with little in the way of alternative viewpoints (as I rambled about on my blog last week) it wouldn’t surprise me.

    I just hope the ETS gets through parliament, in whatever watered-down form, before the election.

  9. The fundamental problem is that Hodgson either LIED or was completely out of his depth when we were sold Kyoto. Anybody else recall his breathless glee that we were going to receive 500 million a year for our carbon credits. That is now looking like at least a billion a year we will have to pay.
    When Helen Clark started waffling on Breakfast this morning about how without an ETS ordinary kiwis would have to pay for our Kyoto liabilities I nearly puked.
    Clark, you signed us up for this complete waste of money, you lied or were too stupid to read the fine print. Trying to make political capital out of one of her governments most monumental blunders would be laughable if it were not so sad.
    And cold comfort for ordinary kiwis struggling to make ends meet, I am sure the thought of us exporting cash to the toxic wasteland of Russia will make us all feel righteous

  10. Barnsleybill. How are Pete Hodgson’s statements from 8 years ago relevent to whether we should have a carbon emissions reduction programme now?

    And it was National that signed Kyoto (back when they had a competent leader). Labour ratified it. National would have but they were no longer in power.

    Without the ETS New Zealand will have to buy more carbon credits, the taxpapyer, ordinary kiwis, will be buying them, rather than the ones making the pollution.

  11. Give the commie comrades the money honey.
    Like hell mate, on your bike, as hip science or global farting is just a steaming pile of fresh horse shit.

    [lprent: there was point in there somewhere? looking…. looking…]

  12. r0b 12

    Hey BB, ever notice how Treasury forecasts are often wrong by a billion or two? Economic forecasting is not an exact science.

    Yes, I’d rather we were in Kyoto credit too, but if we aren’t then we should stop moaning and do something about it.

  13. Steve, we were sold Kyoto as a cash cow. They either lied or were hopelessly out of their depth. The whole point of the ETS is to fund the river of money we will have to give to the mega polluter Russia.
    Good luck selling that to people suffering from mortgage stress.

  14. r0b, if the entire planet was in the same boat then we could all agree to suck it up. But we are not. As usual some highly educated but completely clueless dickhead has taken a stand for us to be on the bleeding edge. While the rest of the planet pisses it’s pants laughing at us.
    We have seen a sustained period of clear felling in our pine plantations over the last few years because of the ETS. Even fricking landcorp has been panic felling. This is distorting every business decision and it is naive and plain stupid for NZ to be sending money overseas to countries that are far worse than us. Add to this the fact that the worlds biggest polluters are excluded.
    If every man, woman, child, sheep, cow and pig in this country ceased to exist overnight the net benefit to the global climate would be closer to nil than labour’s chances of a fourth term. India pumps out more emmisssions in the time time it takes to read this page than we do in a whole year. Why should you and I be burdened with another tax for absolutely no tangible benefit.

  15. r0b 15

    BB – the good citizens of every country in the world can make the same arguments that you make. Net result, nothing gets done, and we all fry.

    NZ is a small country with a proud history of leadership when it comes to doing the right thing. Our anti-nuke policy may have cost us hugely in terms of trade with Amrica, but we stick to it, and we’re proud of it.

    Many of us still have that “can do” and proud to be Kiwi attitude. You seem to have abandoned it for a life of petulant whining (it’s all too hard, oh woe, oh dear). To each their own I guess.

  16. Falling back on insults as usual.

  17. Billy 17

    I suspect that randall and D4J are the same person.

  18. lprent 18

    Billy – I suspect you’re just stirring. But it doesn’t look like it to me.

  19. Billy, please do not associate me with randall, as dad4justice is my only handle.

  20. RedLogix 20

    BB,

    What fascinates me about the the argument “NZ is so small therefore we need not do anything about it”… is that it is so egregiously dishonest and evasive that even a right winger like you MUST know that it is plain wrong.

    r0b’s makes the obvious response; your justification for doing nothing fails, because if everyone used it nothing would get done. What counts of course is emmissions per head of capita, and by that measure NZ is one of the worst in the world. Therefore we should be one of the nations first out of the blocks to clean up our act.

    Why do you persist in using such an obviously flawed and plain wrong argument. You KNOW it is wrong, but you have trotted it out anyway. What kind of respect are we to have for that?

  21. erikter 21

    “How are Pete Hodgson’s statements from 8 years ago relevent (sic) to whether we should have a carbon emissions reduction programme now?”

    To start with, let’s be factual and not economical with the truth: it was December 2002 when the then Energy Minister Pete Hodgson predicted a surplus of carbon tax credits worth between $500 million to $1 billion.

    The current New Zealand’s LIABILITY is over 1 billion dollars!

    Hodgson’s statement is entirely relevant because it shows the absolute lack of credibility of the minister and his officials on this matter. What if the figure we currently owe doubles or trebles? What would be the impact on our economy?

    A good example of trying to defend the indefensible. Green partisanship, no more, no less.

  22. insider 22

    People close to this issue told me Hodgson was given a range of numbers and uncertainties around their provenance, and he chose to go with the big cheque number

  23. National disgrace 23

    Why do I get the same uneasy feeling listening to Key’s grand, vague plans for NZ that I got a few years ago reading Blue Chip’s full page newspaper ads…?

  24. Pita 24

    I guess We’ll just have to export some more of our coal to China to pay for our carbon credits…If Helen really believed in global warming and New Zealand’s leadership role in reduction our emissions, that is an obvious target.

    Is it going to happen?

    Yeah right.

  25. Phil 25

    I firmly believe that Climate Change cannot be solved by politicians, interest groups, or lobbyists.

    The real solutions will come from scientists and inventors – the institutional and educational grandchildren of the men and women who dared to do crazy things like put the human race on the moon, get us ever closer to cures for cancer, and harness untold power from the smallest of atoms.

    If we were serious about climate change, we would be pumping billions into our scientific, technical, and engineering community; bringing the best and brightest to the fore, not fucking about with carbon credits.

  26. Nick 26

    Maybe it was the Standover Group … http://www.standover.co.nz

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