Another instalment of “John Key’s” video diary from talented impersonator PlumedeKiwi; this time taking a comedic stab at the PM’s refusal to attend the UN climate talks in Copenhagen.
Key has come under an increasing amount of pressure in recent weeks over the summit, widely dubbed one of the most important meetings in history. It’s not just the daily announcements from his international counterparts that they’re going that are causing him strife, it’s also the nudging of political commentators , climate scientists, and even a princess.
Many say he’d be a fool not to go. Why not rub shoulders with Obama ,Brown, Jiabao, Merkel, Sarkozy and Rudd while demonstrating he cares about the biggest crisis facing humanity and simultaneously protecting New Zealand’s reputation on the world stage? Yes, there are risks he could get some stick for a shambles of an emissions trading scheme. His government’s love of coal, oil, gas and lignite mining in national parks could get slammed over morning tea. New Zealand’s highly conditional 10-20% emissions reduction target could get the big thumbs down. But at least he’s in the game! And the alternative is that the world’s press continues to highlight his flippancy towards what’s fast proving the party of the year.
The UN has explicitly said it wants all leaders to go. Ditto Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and, in an open letter back to the Danish PM, Gordon Brown heartily agrees that leaders are required if any kind of agreement is going to be achieved.
Key’s reasons for not going have been outlined in an op-ed by Greenpeace’s political advisor, Geoff Keey, who’s been at all the lead-up talks to Copenhagen. Keey does have a point. New Zealand’s depressing lack of committment to tackling climate change thus far is arguably justification for the Prime Minister to hide behind skirts. But there is still time (just) for Key to realise that New Zealand is horribly out of step with the world’s burgeoning love affair with the colour green, and do something about it.
Key needs to grow a backbone, start prioritising crucial global deal-making over, for instance, making a dick of himself on US talk shows, and book a flight to Denmark.