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TOP climate change policy

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, March 10th, 2017 - 21 comments
Categories: climate change, ETS, global warming, TOPS - Tags: , , , , ,

Good policy from TOP:

Ban on fossil fuel subsidies in Morgan party climate change policy

Gareth Morgan’s The Opportunities Party would ban subsidies on fossil fuels, increase the price of carbon and overhaul energy efficiency efforts under a climate change policy launched this evening.

The party argues that New Zealand needs a plan to get to zero-carbon economy by the middle of the century, at a time when the country still emits around 7.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person – much higher than the world average of 4.9 tonnes.

“Climate change isn’t going away, and New Zealand needs to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said the party’s chief of staff, Geoff Simmons.

Yes!

“Currently we don’t even have a plan.

Currently we don’t have a government that gives a damn.

“TOP’s plan is to have a proper price on carbon, one that reflects the challenge of meeting our 2030 and 2050 targets.”

Its policy, announced in Dunedin, would cancel a surplus of carbon credits the Government intended to use toward future climate commitments, then develop a plan to reduce emissions over time, using an approach similar to the UK’s Climate Change Act. …

Read on for the details of the plan. I don’t agree with all of it, but at least it acknowledges the crisis we’re facing. (Good luck with the next round of weather bombing to those in the north by the way.)

Other coverage:

Establishment parties ‘too frightened’ to act on climate – Gareth Morgan

There’s a lot of truth in that, and a lot about the shortcomings of our democratic / media / educational process to reflect on.

Gareth Morgan’s … “I just think this whole climate thing is something we need to do, ethically and morally, but also the sooner we get on and do it the lower the cost and actually the bigger the benefits to New Zealand.”

The Government signed up to the agreement last year, which aims to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees below pre-industrial levels. New Zealand’s current target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. But Dr Morgan says the Government has “no strategy whatsoever” to fulfill that.

“In fact, our emissions have been going completely the other way. We’re one of the worst countries in the world in terms of our position since all this baseline stuff started in 1990, and these guys are saying one thing and doing the other,” Dr Morgan says.

“We can actually get on and make some pretty cool business opportunities here if we get on and do the job, but there you go again, establishment parties’ same old, same old, always too frightened to do anything in case they lose a vote. We’re just not like that.”

Yes, this needs to be sold as opportunities not cuts.

TOP’s first step would be to cancel the surplus of emissions permits to make amends for the millions of fraudulent carbon credits New Zealand got from Russia and Ukraine. It plans to set a carbon budget and keep the Emissions Trading Scheme closed to international credits unless they’re from countries with stringent emissions targets.

TOP Climate Policy:

• Immediately remove all subsidies from oil exploration
• Consider bringing nitrous oxide into the Emissions Trading Scheme (but not methane)
• Reforest all erosion-prone land by 2030 by expanding the Afforesting Grant Scheme and tweaking it to provide the money up front to farmers, and paying it back as carbon credits accrue
• Bring rail infrastructure funding inside NZTA’s budget to ensure government funding puts road and other transport on a level playing field
• Review regulations biased towards cars, such as those that force retail and residential developers to provide parking spaces as part of their development
• All government infrastructure spending and economic assessments for major consents under the RMA will assume a long-term carbon price of at least $60 per tonne of CO2.

There’s a challenge for Labour and the Greens.

21 comments on “TOP climate change policy ”

  1. greywarshark 1

    Sound good, TOPs may just draw in enough votes to be either a nuisance or a useful game changer. Either way, we need someone to stir the pot. All we get from the old cooks is oldy and mouldy porridge. It has substance, it contains some calorie value, but it’s workhouse fare and we eat it because we are given no alternative.

    • weka 1.1

      “TOPs may just draw in enough votes to be either a nuisance or a useful game changer.”

      Or cost the left the election. In which case the game changes to what the US is experiencing, and while the dynamics here are quite different than the US, I don’t think it’s going to be pretty in NZ either.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        “Or cost the left the election.”

        Indeed. He’s going after the Green vote with this one.

  2. Bill 2

    Dammit! Had meant to get along to that meeting yesterday…and then forgot all about it. Ah well.

    Just had a quick read of the policy release and have a few initial comments.

    It is not by 2050 that western nations need to have dumped fossil fuel use. It’s earlier than that.

    A $60 per tonne price on carbon is much, much too low and will have no impact on emissions (Not linking to the study right now, but it’s been done) . There is no way to price our way out of this cul-de-sac. Throw that $60 price up to $1000 per tonne and all that happens is that the the poorer among us, who contribute the least to climate change, get thrown under a bus.

    On the plus side, at least the problem is being fully acknowledged (South Dunedin going under etc), but there is absolutely no way that policy, even if fully implemented, would bring us anywhere near to the ~15% per annum cuts in fuel or energy related emissions that are required.

    Is it a reasonable direction of travel?

    Well, it’s streets ahead of the 30 below 90 by 30 type bullshit that other parties seem to be fond of spouting. And there is no mention of or reliance on fairy tale technology that I can see.

    So…more realistic than other policies I’ve seen. But its bounds need to be pushed way beyond where they sit, and we really do need a conversation around this idea that capitalist or market mechanisms can be deployed to fix a problem that has arisen out of our use of capitalist/market mechanisms.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      Thanks Bill
      I haven’t done my homework with the continuingly pressing problem of emissions so need someone to interpret and analyse stuff that I can trust.

      I felt that it showed willing by TOP, but the Greens must keep their numbers, I just hope that some National people who aren’t completely addled by what the Smart Set with money or aspirations are saying and doing.

  3. Dot 3

    Yes, some good policy there,
    the issue is if they understand climate change,
    would they go into government with National [the pretenders] ?

    • Kevin 3.1

      If any of the political parties understood climate change they would realise that all of these reductions and quota’s and whatever is just pissing in the wind.

      Just feel good shit so the masses think that they have it under control.

  4. fisiani 4

    Great announcement by TOP / That could take 3% off the Greens and end up with TOP getting 4%. Greens would then drop by 3% to 7% and National would go up by 2% due to wasted TOP votes.

  5. weka 5

    “There’s a challenge for Labour and the Greens.”

    The main one being how to retain votes. Because if TOP cost the left the election, how much of their CC policy do you think they will get National to agree to? Or any policy for that matter. I’ve not seen anyone answer that question yet.

    Meanwhile, the Greens have the best chance of pulling NZ’s climate change policy in the direction it needs to go but only if they get a bump in their MP numbers and Labour are able to form govt. Where exactly does TOP fit into that?

    If Morgan truly felt an urgency about CC, he’d have set up a group to lobby hard during the election without risking undermining the very people most likely to do some good. Hard not to see forming a political party as a vanity project. His intentions seem good, but the strategy is most definitely not one that serves the left or progressives.

    • garibaldi 5.1

      Don’t write TOP off as an enemy of the Left. Their policies are far more sound than many mainstream Left and Right policies. I’d rather vote for them than bloody Winston Peters. By the way ,TOP is to sit on the cross benches and not do a coalition ( or it was when it was founded).

      • Carolyn_nth 5.1.1

        But TOP About page says the will work with National.

        TOP does not seek to be the government, we seek to substantially influence the policies the government of the day implements. National & Labour both have proven records in government over long periods so to us it seems pointless to reinvent either of those two wheels. We’re happy to work with either, we respect both.

        Our electoral ambition is to have a sufficiently significant share of seats to get our policy priorities implemented. We envisage a cross-bench position as the most effective means to that end.

        Don’t trust them. They are too business-centred. Don’t trust any party that says they have respect for National.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          +1

          And note they say they don’t seek to be the govt. That’s not saying they don’t seek to be in govt, nor does it mean they won’t be kingmaker if given the chance. This is not a casual phrasing, it’s intentional, so that floating voters will be attracted to them. Unfortunately it looks like left wing voters are buying the line too.

          I just hope that the MSM puts pressure on them before the election to be more honest. But that dishonesty, in an era of MMP that was established as slippery by Winston Peters, that should be raising alarm bells.

          The other alarm bell for me is that they’re good at the good ideas, but once you get into the detail not so much. Lots of good PR, management speak too. But their ideas of social justice are not left wing ones.

        • Keith 5.1.1.2

          Oh yes, TOP have dusted off the good ol” “Business with a heart” bullshit line. Its about then the truth died a death with TOP. And millionaires aren’t greedy self serving parasites either!

          I recall the eminently sensible sounding line from ACT years ago that welfare should be a “hand up not a hand out”. National proved just what a lie that was!

      • weka 5.1.2

        I’ve not seen anything that says that TOP guarantee they won’t support the formation of a 4th term NACT govt. Until I see that, then they are a threat to the left being able to form govt. I wouldn’t call them an enemy of the left, but they’re not a friend either, by design.

        Their candidate in Mt Albert appears to support them working with National by preference. They are intentionally positioning themselves as sitting between both National and L/G so that they can garner votes from across the spectrum. It’s a smart move if you want to gain power. But it may cost the left the election.

        Interesting that you refer to Peters, because to me it looks like the same old shit again. If you want a left wing govt then you have to vote for a left wing party. That’s not NZF or TOP. If you don’t mind whether we have a left or right govt, then by all means vote for whoever.

        • Antoine 5.1.2.1

          I agree with you that a TOP vote is wasted to the Left. Not because they will support Nact – but because they will fall below 5% and get no seats. Fisiani’s pretty much onto it

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.2.1.1

            You’re swallowing Fisiani’s chin-wipes now? Dignity isn’t your friend eh.

  6. Andrea 6

    Any party that kills the carbon trading scheme at the same time as they make it easy and affordable to switch to alternatives is probably worth voting for.

    And neither the party for city workers (Labour) or the champions of the lifestyle block brigade (Greens) looks like doing anything so game-changing and outrageously scary.

    Left wing parties – ha! In name only. Never mind the ‘business with heart’ issue – how about incumbents with That Sense of Entitlement and breathless urges to be Important. With as much fire for change as a dying glow worm in a dark brown beer bottle.

    • weka 6.1

      Can you explain a scenario in which Labour can’t form a govt and TOP get their CC policy adopted?

  7. NZJon 7

    “Consider bringing nitrous oxide into the Emissions Trading Scheme (but not methane)”

    You’re ‘aving a laugh…!

  8. Thinkerr 8

    Given he professes to be NZs answer to Guy Fawkes, he’s going to need to keep some fossil fuels on tap to blow up parliament.

    PS – the junior member of our family, who shouldn’t be old enough to know better (than Morgan) suggested that if he gets rid of all the cats, who will cope with the ensuing rodent outbreak?

    Methinks Morgan will set Guy Fawkes aside and become NZs answer to the pied piper.

  9. johnm 9

    Gareth Morgan the cat nemesis. I take no notice of what this selfish cruel man says. He only has a voice because he’s obscenely wealthy! He can make his dead flat boring pronouncements forever, it’d be a good idea if he just went away somewhere maybe overseas. Like Key has done.

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