Government’s approach to climate change is criminal

LETTER

Congratulations to Sarah Thompson for taking the Government to court last week. She argues that the Government is not complying with its own legislation by setting such a low target for greenhouse gas emission reduction. It has taken since November 2015 for the young Waikato student to have her day in court and, sadly, a judgement is probably still months away.

Her action is not the first. Twenty-three other governments are facing litigation at the last count, and one, in the Netherlands, has had the court rule against it, requiring greater measures to combat climate change.

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says, “we are very comfortable that our target is fair and ambitious”. That target is just 11 percent below 1990 emissions, when the UN states that we need cuts of up to 70 percent if we are to have any chance of preventing catastrophically dangerous temperature increases. Our Government is “very comfortable (with) our target”, so presumably it is also very comfortable that gross emissions in 2015 (last available figures) were 24.1 percent higher than in 1990, and that it will cost New Zealand $14.2 billion over 10 years in international carbon credits to cover these excess emissions.

It is even more criminal that our Government would rather pay out cash than take real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and try to avert further terrible damage and loss of life, adding to thousands already dead from heatwaves and storm surges etc.

We must use our votes wisely in September to support whichever party is willing to do the most to combat the causes of climate change.

Bill Hambidge

Congratulations to Sarah Thompson for taking the Government to court last week. She argues that the Government is not complying with its own legislation by setting such a low target for greenhouse gas emission reduction. It has taken since November 2015 for the young Waikato student to have her day in court and, sadly, a judgement is probably still months away.

Her action is not the first. Twenty-three other governments are facing litigation at the last count, and one, in the Netherlands, has had the court rule against it, requiring greater measures to combat climate change.

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says, “we are very comfortable that our target is fair and ambitious”. That target is just 11 percent below 1990 emissions, when the UN states that we need cuts of up to 70 percent if we are to have any chance of preventing catastrophically dangerous temperature increases. Our Government is “very comfortable (with) our target”, so presumably it is also very comfortable that gross emissions in 2015 (last available figures) were 24.1 percent higher than in 1990, and that it will cost New Zealand $14.2 billion over 10 years in international carbon credits to cover these excess emissions.

It is even more criminal that our Government would rather pay out cash than take real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and try to avert further terrible damage and loss of life, adding to thousands already dead from heatwaves and storm surges etc.

We must use our votes wisely in September to support whichever party is willing to do the most to combat the causes of climate change.

Bill Hambidge

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