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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    17 hours ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    18 hours ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    18 hours ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    1 day ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    3 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    3 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago