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The parties’ climate change policies

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, March 31st, 2008 - 11 comments
Categories: activism, election 2008, Environment - Tags: , ,

‘Tis the season for surveys of the parties. Greenpeace sent a questionnaire to each of the parliamentary parties asking for their polices on 20 climate change issues. They’ve published the answers and rated the policies for effectiveness tackling climate change. The results are summarised below. Parties could score up to two ticks per answer if they had a good policy or two crosses if their policy was bad for climate change (giving a a maximum of forty).

greenpeacesurvey.JPGAs you would hope, the Greens performed very well. The one four points on which they did not receive full marks are points on which reasonable people can differ such as whether coal can have any sustainable role in energy generation. The Progressives also performed well, a welcome surprise, given their slightly old-Left image. Good to see United Future has dropped its denier position of last election and gained a middling score.

Both the major parties disappointed. Labour’s policy towards climate change is simply too timid. Fortunately, they are working closely with the Greens on government policy. National’s new ‘blue-green’ stance is completely exposed as completely hollow politicking. They couldn’t even be bothered answering the questions directly: National directed Greenpeace to a couple of old speeches and policy papers. If anyone still seriously thinks the Greens and National could work together, this survey should dissuade them.

Unsurprisingly, ACT did not bother answering the survey. Even in yesterday’s debate, Hide was completely out of touch, denying climate change. It is more disappointing that NZF and the Maori Party, especially, could not respond.

Climate change is the most serious threat, along with its twin Peak Oil, to our continued prosperity. The parties need to get more serious about it.

11 comments on “The parties’ climate change policies ”

  1. Ari 1

    Despite actually having some sympathy with Rodney, as I’d be best described as a left-libertarian, I can’t by the horrible policy priorities and weird conservatism-dressed-up-as-libertarianism his party presides over, what with his inaccurate and hateful talk of “envy taxes”, and his ridiculous climate-denier politics. Lift your game, Rodney.
    (although I think Deborah Coddington was probably their best MP ever, and actually believed in some of their rhetoric about liberal social policies, and is about the only thing redeeming about ACT)

    National continues to surprise nobody by not releasing any policy, again. NZF continues its trend of being a non-contender…

    …and the Maori Party continues its poor commitment to the environment.

    Remind me why people think we don’t need the Greens, again?

  2. Steve Pierson 2

    To be fair. I think the Maori party would have had reasonably good answers but they didn’t respond and that may have been due to time pressure on a small party as much as anything.

    That said, they have remarkably little in the way of concrete policy on anything. Their policy is very reactive, formed on a case by case basis.

  3. insider 3

    My God. Stop the presses. A self serving questionnaire by the “military wing” of the Greens movement finds in their judgement that The Greens have the best policies and the next best is the old left of the Labour party.

    How profound…

  4. Ari 4

    Insider: Now you know how we feel when the business roundtable makes a press release and National or ACT jump on it 😉

    Steve: If I recall, the Maori Party don’t have much sustainability or general Green policy, and I’m pretty sure their voting record’s not so hot on this, their comments are just the usual greenwash that Labour’s also committed to.

    This likely reflects the fact that they form their policy from consultation- Green issues are quite important, but people won’t say “I want people to stop dumping things in waterways” anywhere near as often as you’ll hear them say “clean up our (expletive) lake already!” Saying you’ll make a commitment to the environment is easy. Actually doing so is very hard, and involves diligence and/or sacrifice- which are unpopular things for a politician to ask from the electorate.

  5. MikeE 5

    You mean, Rodney Hide, the only MP in Parliamnet with any form of Environmental tertiary qualifications whatsoever?

  6. mike 6

    And next weeks survey is the NBR’s questionaire on Tax Reduction Policy…. And the winners are Act, National…

    Good on NZ first UF and the MP for ignoring it and shame on National lowering themselves.

  7. deemac 7

    I wish I shared Steve P’s optimism about the Maori Party’s environmental policies. As I understand it they don’t even support the flawed and limited Kyoto targets because this would devalue some Maori assets?

  8. Stephen 8

    Why is it good that anyone ignored the questionnaire mike? I want to know the answers to the questions that were asked, but I’m in the dark for half the parties in Parliament! Great!


  9. Good on NZ first UF and the MP for ignoring it and shame on National lowering themselves.

    Gee i sure hope they arent going to ignore me if they get elected.

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    This from the bastion of equality and impartiality:

    The survey did not set out to rank parties but in rough terms the Greens did best followed by the Progressive Party. Next were Labour and United Future on a similar level followed by National.

    They make it sound like National is right up there…

    If you wanted to rank them with a /- system it’s: Gre 36; Pro 16; Lab 12; UF 8; Nat -8. Nice attempt to talk it down though.

    They did put this quote in though, to be fair: “National needs to match its rhetoric on tackling climate change with policies. There appears to be no plan from National to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is the only real solution to climate change.” Vacuous…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?_id=1&objectid=10501199

  11. Draco TB 11

    As I understand it they don’t even support the flawed and limited Kyoto targets because this would devalue some Maori assets?

    Wouldn’t surprise me. I was doing an environmental politics course last year and one of the speakers we had was someone from a local iwi to discuss how Maori looked after the environment. He basically said that the Maori, prior to the coming of the Pakeha, worked within the environmental limits but now that they’re affluent they won’t.

    From my talks with Maori over the years it’s reasonable to say that their environmental policy is effectively non-existent.

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