The Greens rock their AGM

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, July 16th, 2017 - 18 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, election 2017, Environment, greens - Tags:

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,

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.

The Greens also rolled out some campaign strategy,

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.

18 comments on “The Greens rock their AGM”

  1. Red 1

    All good news barring the greens are in the weakest position strategically due to thier intransigence to work or even contemplate working with national for any of thier policies to get traction

    • mauī 1.1

      Maybe National could form a coalition with their own Maggies Blue-gween gardening group 😆

    • weka 1.2

      Yawn. The Greens have never been in a position to support a National government. Tiresome trolling Red. Probably good you don’t understand their current strategy though.

      I notice the lie in your comment. The Greens will work with any party on shared policy. Last year Kennedy Graham spearheaded a cross-party initiative that included National and ACT MPs. The report is here,

      https://www.parliament.nz/en/get-involved/features/mps-collaborate-across-party-lines-in-response-to-climate-change/

      You can count this as a moderator warning, and it’s probably the last one you will get from me. I will ban you until well after the election if you continue to do this stupid trolling shit. Don’t @ me about the semantics of ‘work with’, and up your game to actual political debate if you want to comment esp under my posts.

  2. mauī 2

    Shaw was interviewed on neolibtalk newstalk ZB this morning (9am) and was really good in my opinion. It was more a cafe style chat and he was relaxed and easily understood. It’s a pity that most of the time the public’s impression of politicians is from agro interviews. More informal stuff could be really good.

  3. Karen 3

    Really looking forward to Metiria announcing their policy on reducing poverty this afternoon. I’m expecting something really special.

  4. Tane 4

    Yet during his speech he says farm zero times, dairy and agriculture only once? And none of them with any plan?

    That is fifty percent of our emissions, according to the OECD, from roughly five percent of our GDP and not facing up to that is dishonest. Either they aren’t going to do anything about it or they don’t want to mention it pre-election in order to increase their vote.

    We could stop farming right now, turn the best land into crops and the worst into an environmental wonderland. This would cut 50% of our emissions.

    We could stop farming exports outside of NZ, have cheap meat and milk, and cut ??% emissions.

    Glossing over the large scale of farming emissions is policy by stealth.

    • weka 4.1

      The Greens are easily the leading political party in NZ on transforming farming. Have a look at their other policies, it’s all there.

      For instance, they’re intending to use the Green Infrastructure Fund to assist farmers to convert to sustainable farming. That’s massive because farm debt is one of the biggest blocks to farmers doing the right thing, including the ones that are already ready and willing to do the right thing.

      https://www.greens.org.nz/page/agriculture-and-rural-affairs-policy-0

      The Greens have also been leading the way on pushing back against industrial dairying.

      “It’s time for a moratorium on new dairy farms and to start thinking about how to reduce the number of cows on our paddocks to halt water pollution, the Green Party said today.”

      https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/time-take-stock-cow-numbers-stop-water-pollution

      I think you need to take a closer look at what the Greens are actually proposing. Looking at how their various policies intersect is useful.

  5. mosa 5

    The Green infrastructure fund is an important example of why it is time for the Greens to be in government.

    The party is still the only one that is thinking of the long term economy and what we have to do if we are going to survive into the future where sustainability is the cornerstone and is at the heart of government policy and implementation.

    Surely a safe environmental approach to energy that also supports well paid employment and conditions is a no brainer.

  6. Nick 6

    Natz so selfish, ignorant and greedy, the lust for money and power overwhelms them, they prefer to mess around with petty political name calling, examples being red and james.

    • Red 6.1

      Not at all we don’t have to be green sycophants or deny the obvious of the absurdity of the greens strategic positioning, likewise their flimsy SjW policies

      • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1.1

        Sycophants – an accurate label for any remaining fans of our former PM.
        Absurdity describes our government’s vision – trashing NZ’s reputation, environment and people.
        Flimsy of purpose and principle – deBarclay anyone?

        So many own goals – keep up the ‘good work’.

      • McFlock 6.1.2

        lol

        gets accused of name-calling, responds with name-calling.

  7. Kerry 7

    Nice post, weka.

    I particularly enjoyed your warning of troll in the comments.
    Long time no see, lol.

    Rather a fan of hard moderation myself, FYI to anyone who thinks they can troll my WordPress. My page, my rules.

    Policy launched today is at
    https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/social-policies/mending-safety-net

    Toodle-pip, old chap 😉

    • weka 7.1

      Hi Kerry! Thanks, and yep re the mod note. No way am I going to put effort into a post and have it trashed. What an exciting day today though. Trolls can’t touch us 😆

  8. Roy 8

    Wish I’d been there, all I saw was Newshub’s gleeful “reporting” of Met saying beneficiaries should ‘do whatever they want’ when asked whether they should spend money on booze/smokes.

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