Posted on Aug. 27, 2012. Listed in:
Thursday was the Government’s latest foray into climate change legislation – the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading & Other Matters) Amendment Bill.
The Green Party, as Kennedy Graham writes opposed the Bill. Because( among other reasons)
- The global carbon budget for a 2°C threshold is some 1,600 billion tonnes of emissions from 1990 to 2100, almost half of which has been emitted already, leaving space for annual emissions henceforth of 9.5 b. tonnes – 20% of current levels.
- The voluntary pledges for emission reductions will result in a rise in global emissions from 48 billion tonnes today to 50 b. tonnes in 2020, whereas the 2°C limit requires 44 b. tonnes. Clearly the international community is failing the challenge of averting serious anthropogenic climate change.
- New Zealand, in response to the UN appeal for 40% cuts (below 1990 levels) in 2020 and 80% in 2050, has pledged 15% (mid-point) and 50%, respectively. Clearly New Zealand is not doing its fair share.
- The current Bill would weaken an already weak ETS to the point of irrelevance – deferring agriculture indefinitely, deferring a rise in the price cap, deferring a one-for-one surrender obligation, making it easier for foresters to switch to dairying, and enabling importers to increasingly use dangerous synthetic gases.
- We should consider Sweden and Ireland, which have reduced agricultural emissions by 10% and 7%, while NZ has increased them by 16%.
- Where National regards its policy as a necessary deferral of a financial burden to selected economic sectors, the Green Party sees it as a societal opportunity to switch to a high tech, low-carbon, green economy.
Kennedy Graham was then , as he writes further immediately followed by Hon John Banks (ACT) who supported the Bill. His speech is here. His principal argumentation was as follows:
- Parliament had never listened to so much claptrap as was contained in my( KG's) speech since the 20th century.
- No Green Party candidate could ever get elected as a constituent MP; and I was challenged to stand in Epsom in 2014 and take my chances there. Epsom voters will know that Green views are humbug.
- Parliament had never listed to such a bogeyman tirade as my speech, for which Hon John Banks could be forgiven for wishing to hurl himself out of the window of his 11th floor office in Bowen House.
- New Zealand, emitting 0.2% of global emissions, has negligible influence.
- Most of the climate change debate is humbug.
- ACT is pleased to amend the Climate Change legislation since the ETS is a monstrosity, and it is important to minimise its worst effects for the business community.
- The Bill should be retitled the Climate Change (Common Sense) Amendment Bill.
Meanwhile away from the House,Greenpeace New Zealand Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid said,“You really have to wonder if the left hand knows what the right hand is doing in this Government. The Government’s economic priorities are deep sea oil and digging up more coal - the very cause of the emissions and the reason an ETS was developed in the first place.”
“Everybody wants a strong economy but this Government would have us all believe that more dirty, risky energy like deep sea oil is the only choice to get there. This is yet another example of the National-led Government killing off the opportunities we have to build a cleaner, safer 21st Century economy.”
“The Government is hell-bent on re-writing environmental legislation simply to suit our biggest polluters at the cost of ordinary New Zealanders.”
“This is a clear signal the Government is not taking environmental protection seriously and is putting our global reputation at risk.”
“We need an energy strategy for the 21st century that phases out old dirty fuels that pollute our land, water and air and phase in new, clean and safe energy that can create thousands of jobs and strong economic growth for New Zealand.”