Danyl Mclauchlan says the political process isn’t working and people don’t care about climate change.
He is right that the political process isn’t working. In many cases is making matters worse.
He’s wrong in saying people don’t care about the environment including climate change.
But they also care about people and the economic and social impact of policies which might or might not save the planet, and will come at a high human and financial cost.
This is why National Party climate change spokesman, Todd Muller, is looking for not only a bi-partisan approach but one which isn’t blinded by green ideology:
We are not a party of “climate villains” dragging our feet as they would paint, but rather a party of economic and environmental pragmatists who are taking a principled approach to climate change: allowing science to paint the picture, with technology leading the way, pacing ourselves at the pace of our competitors, and being relentlessly honest about the economic implications of the transition. . .
National takes climate change seriously. That’s why have I been working behind the scenes with James Shaw negotiating a framework for an Independent Climate Change Commission to take the short-term politics out of what is a very long-term issue and guide the response of successive future governments.
Generation Zero is trying to paint climate change as a partisan issue, with the Labour and Green Party in one corner, and National in the other.
We are seeking to move climate change beyond partisan politics to provide stability to this issue. National is proud of its record on climate issues, but those who are dead set on New Zealand always moving harder and faster no matter the cost, often under the guise of “ambition”, will never let the truth get in the way of a good story. . .
That cost isn’t only a financial and social one. It would be an environmental one if, for example, the dark green calls for drastic reductions in stock numbers here led to increases in other countries where farming practices are far less efficient.
Another example of policy on the hoof leading to more emissions, not less, is the oil and gas ban.
The key difference in policy has been the Labour Government’s ban on oil and gas exploration – a change of direction that the National Party continues to oppose vigorously. This decision was pure politics with the Government’s own officials advising that banning oil and gas would cost our economy billions of dollars and likely lead to an increase in global emissions.
The people of Taranaki don’t need a “safe space” to “grieve the change of identity”. What the people of Taranaki need is economic certainty and a Government that isn’t blinded by Green ideology.
National is ambitious when it comes to climate action. We are also ambitious for New Zealand. It is absolutely critical that we move – but let’s not move at a pace that leaves businesses and communities behind and puts our economy at a competitive disadvantage with the rest of the world.
Modelling provided to the Minister for Climate Change by NZIER indicated that achieving an all-gases zero emissions target by 2050 would reduce New Zealand wages by 60 per cent and GDP by 40 per cent. This may be palatable to Generation Zero, but I doubt the rest of New Zealand would agree.
It’s sadly ironical that some of the people calling loudest for reducing poverty are also calling loudest for radical environmental policies that will hit the poor hardest.
New Zealand is already a low-wage economy with at best modest growth in GDP. A 60% drop in wages and a 40% fall in GDP would be devastating for us all.
When our total emissions account for 0.17 per cent of total global emissions, leadership isn’t being first, fast and famous.
Leadership is taking what we already do well, food production, and doing it even better over time by investing in innovation and technology.
The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, is an example of putting money into science to reduce emissions without reducing production and making food more expensive.
While all parties are working together to support New Zealand playing its part on climate change, we can’t ignore the reality that, ultimately, it will be decisions made in Washington, Beijing, Moscow and New Delhi – not Wellington – that will determine the level of warming we will see over coming centuries.
Future generations will thank us for working with, and at the pace of, global partners.
A cleaner, greener world requires us all to think globally and act locally but the thinking and acting must be based on science not politics.
That is the only way to get green policies, not greenwash.