Yesterday James Shaw gave a speech about climate change to the Green Party AGM. He pointed to the now normal breaking away of parts of the Antarctic iceshelf, the Larsen break-off this week, which is part of the full break up of the whole Larsen C iceshelf, and that what will follow is the West Antarctic iceshelf which contains 3.3m of sea level rise.
Quoting Martin Luther King he talked about how we are “confronted with the fierce urgency of now”, and that there is such a thing as too late. But he’s not talking about too late to act, he’s urging action now as priority while we still have some chance.
He points to not just the uselessness of National but their intentional heading in the wrong direction,
— Green Party NZ (@NZGreens) July 15, 2017
You can see the speech here. It’s worth watching (Shaw is funny!),
Shaw got cheers and a standing ovation when he announced the Greens are now committing to making NZ carbon-neutral by the year 2050. Key policy also released is the Green Infrastructure Fund designed to kick start NZ’s transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
“Over time, the Fund will see billions of dollars used to build clean energy sources, sustainable agriculture projects, and the infrastructure our cities need to grow without compromising the environment.
In time, the Fund will help redirect billions of dollars of funding into:
- New renewable energy plants, especially geothermal plants;
- Solar panel and waste heat installations;
- Energy efficient building and housing materials and retrofits;
- The production of commercial volumes of biofuels; and
- Other clean technology projects.
They’re calling it the Kiwibank of the Green economy and emphasising that it’s not just about climate chance but also greening the economy. Creating more jobs, green jobs, well-paying jobs.
National’s plan is to spend $10B over the next ten years buying carbon credits from other countries. Or as Shaw puts it, paying other countries to develop their own green economies while we pollute ours. Instead the Greens want us to grow our own green economy.
This isn’t tinkering around the edges of climate change, doing the least we can get away with in the hope that the rest of the world sorts things out. This is an actual plan for what NZ needs to be doing immediately and over the next decades to meet our obligations and preserve our prosperity and wellbeing while we still can. The Greens also want us to be an exemplar to the world and lead the way.
Along with their rail and solar plans, the Greens can no longer be written off as fringe-dwellers. This is solid infrastructure management grounded in environmental values and it’s ready to go now. Shaw intends to oversee the setting up of the Green Fund within 12 months of a Labour/Green government taking power.
As a long time environmentalist I find this both heartening and frustrating. We should have had the Greens in power 10 years ago putting these plans into action. But we’re here now, at last, and while this isn’t the whole of what is needed, it’s pretty well targeted at what NZers are ready for and it’s many steps in the right direction. For anyone who rates Climate Change as the most serious issue of our time, voting Green is now a no-brainer.
— Julie Zhu (@juliezhuu) July 15, 2017
At the AGM today, the Green Party released some details about its election campaign and underlined the scale of its efforts to get into power.
Its election campaign posters will feature candidates’ faces for the first time – a notable shift from the party’s traditional strategy of targeting the party vote. The change is likely influenced by its stronger than usual batch of new, young candidates, including Auckland mayoral candidate Chloe Swarbrick and lawyer Golriz Gharahman.
Co-convenor Sarah Helm said the party realised early in its campaign that it would not grow its vote without doing everything “larger and more ambitious than ever before”.
She listed a series of records for the party. It is standing candidates in 65 out of 71 seats, more than ever before. It has tens of thousands of volunteers, including 130 new ones in the last week. It has directly contacted more people – 46,000 – than its entire campaign in 2014. In all, the party’s staff will knock on 100,000 doors – four times more than last time.
“We are talking to more voters than ever before. More calls, more door-knocking, more stalls, because to grow the Green vote we need to talk to more people to convince them to tick the box for the Green Party.”
The Herald’s political reporter Isaac Davison says to expect a big policy announcement today,
The Green Party is set to announce one of its most ambitious policies, which it hopes will put New Zealand on the path ending poverty.
It is understood the policy, to be revealed at its AGM [today], will go much further than simply increasing support for lower-income families. It will also aim to change a culture of “beneficiary-bashing” in New Zealand by reversing some of the most punitive changes introduced over successive governments.
Moderator note: As always with my posts, no climate change denial or ‘it’s too late to do anything/we’re all going to die anyway’ comments.