Simon Upton writes a good critique of New Zealand’s climate change situation in today’s Dom Post. It must be amazing for the former National Party Minister who got us involved with the Kyoto process in the first place to watch as once again, we go back to square one in terms of our response to climate change.
… with the first year of the five-year commitment period under the Kyoto protocol almost over, square one is looking increasingly untenable. It has also become a rather expensive piece of real estate. New Zealand is the only country in the world to have fully elaborated both a carbon tax and an emissions trading scheme and implemented neither. That takes some doing.
He goes on to criticise Labour for failing to get a cross party consensus, and National for backing away from a cross party consensus when Labour moved towards their emissions trading policy. He also chides the Greens for discounting National in the lead up to the election. The Greens offered before the election to sit down with National and work on fixing up the ETS, since a number of the objections in National’s minority report the Greens agreed with and were already trying to negotiate to fix. Alas, John Key refused to discuss the issue. I am pretty confident that the offer still stands, John.
Most striking in the article is Upton’s criticism of ACT and the select committee.
What fresh insights can a select committee of New Zealand politicians add to a subject that has been exhaustively canvassed elsewhere? Anyone who has studied the issue in good faith knows that there are no certainties and that it is a risk management issue. Picking holes in computer models or climate data is a path to nowhere and would make New Zealand a laughing stock.
I couldn’t have said it better. Oh wait. I already have said it. Many times. So has Jeanette. Good on you Upton. Pull us all up on it and tell us all to pull finger. Sage advice. The risks of inaction are too great. Too great for the environment, for society and for the economy. Too great to risk becoming the laughing stock at Poznan, or Copenhagen for that matter.