In this week leading up to the biggest climate change march Aotearoa has ever seen I intend to write a few posts on this government’s approach to climate change although the simple description is that it is appalling.
Two recent stories give an indication of how appalling it is.
The first is Key’s statement that within three to four years New Zealand’s scientists will have nailed the science regarding agricultural emissions of greenhouse gasses. From TV3:
I am actually quite confident, over the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years, the world will adopt so many new technologies actually our carbon footprint will reduce.”
Agriculture contributes 48 percent of New Zealand’s carbon emissions, but Mr Key said technology to address that is not far away.
“My scientists tell me within three to four years they are going to have nailed that.”
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest, redemption is at hand. John Key has the solution to Aotearoa’s greenhouse gas emission issues. Is this why National has slashed funding of research into agricultural emissions? Because they have already discovered the solution?
The second example is the Government’s release of a discussion document on the Emissions Trading Scheme. I do not know why they go through this charade. The ETS is completely broken, a pale imitation of what it needs to be. It is meant to make business adopt less polluting behaviour but it is failing.
There are two basic reasons. The first is the Government is happy for those who have to purchase carbon credits to purchase ultra cheap and dodgy foreign credits thereby negating the need to change behaviour. The second is because the industry that contributes half of the total emissions, that is agriculture, is not even in the scheme.
The discussion paper sets out the government’s rationale for excluding agriculture. I bet you that perfectly decent intelligent public servants typed this paper through gritted teeth.
Remember the ETS is designed to change behaviour. You would think that agriculture, being by far the biggest emitting sector, should be obliged to be part of the scheme so we could actually reduce emissions. But the Government’s frankly BS conditions for agriculture to be added are:
As to the first bullet point according to John Key the technology is only three to four years away. So the Government’s response ought to be “Hell yeah bring it on. Within three to four years we will have the technology, John Key said so.”
As to the second bullet point well pretty well every other country is planning to do better than we are. And besides, do we say “well stuff the environment and the world’s future because country ABC is not making more progress on tackling its emissions”. Such frankly puerile primary school playground responses should never be an acceptable response from a sovereign government. Ever.
If you are upset by this, and presuming you have a pulse and a functioning brain and a desire for a future you will be upset, make a submission. Tell the Government that according to John Key scientific nirvana is just around the corner and of course agricultural emissions should part of the ETS.
And pray for your mokopuna. And turn up to the climate change protests this weekend. Our fragile delicate wonderful world deserves nothing less.