Is zero-carbon future being discussed behind scenes?

LETTER

I was surprised when Thursday’s front page had the National Party’s Napier candidate David Elliott telling the “Meet the candidates” audience his party was committed to New Zealand being carbon neutral by 2050.

I checked National’s website to see if there had been a massive change of heart, but all it says is that National commits to a 30 percent “reduction” of greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels. It fails to mention the target is for net emissions to be 30 percent lower than 2005 gross emissions. That surely should not be too hard since, despite increasing 64 percent since 1990, net emissions still have not reached 30 percent of gross 2005 emissions. In fact, the target is not a “reduction” at all.

Greenhouse gas emissions have climbed steadily under National, apart from a minor downturn in 2008 during the global financial crisis, and also last year with the downturn in dairy prices.

I had been hoping that all parties would agree the world’s climate is too important to be subject to political wrangling, and there would be consensus to set some meaningful goals in New Zealand. Perhaps Mr Elliott has revealed that a cross-party agreement to bring in a Zero Carbon Act is indeed being discussed behind the scenes — or is that just wishful thinking.

Bill Hambidge

I was surprised when Thursday’s front page had the National Party’s Napier candidate David Elliott telling the “Meet the candidates” audience his party was committed to New Zealand being carbon neutral by 2050.

I checked National’s website to see if there had been a massive change of heart, but all it says is that National commits to a 30 percent “reduction” of greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels. It fails to mention the target is for net emissions to be 30 percent lower than 2005 gross emissions. That surely should not be too hard since, despite increasing 64 percent since 1990, net emissions still have not reached 30 percent of gross 2005 emissions. In fact, the target is not a “reduction” at all.

Greenhouse gas emissions have climbed steadily under National, apart from a minor downturn in 2008 during the global financial crisis, and also last year with the downturn in dairy prices.

I had been hoping that all parties would agree the world’s climate is too important to be subject to political wrangling, and there would be consensus to set some meaningful goals in New Zealand. Perhaps Mr Elliott has revealed that a cross-party agreement to bring in a Zero Carbon Act is indeed being discussed behind the scenes — or is that just wishful thinking.

Bill Hambidge

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Bob Hughes - 11 days ago
I was a welcome guest at the climate change hui at Hauiti Marae in January last year.
I can?t see it in their final report, but I witnessed one of the government team defend New Zealand?s low greenhouse gas emissions targets.
He claimed New Zealand?s total emissions were minimal and have an infinitesimal effect on the global output.
The same line was taken by the defence in the Sarah Thompson versus Government court case held in Hamilton late June.
The defence lawyer there went even a step further and added: ?We must rely on the efforts of others and the global community . . .?
Like Bill Hambidge, I too consider this issue ?is too important to be subject to political wrangling?.
National is stuck in the mud on worthwhile commitment ? let?s wipe them.
I reckon if we want meaningful action on climate change, we need to vote in a Labour Green government this election. Both have strong policies on climate change action.

Martin Hanson - 11 days ago
As long as the core strand of the National Party's philosophy is looking after the present generation's better off at the expense of future generations, I see no possibility of change.

G R Webb - 10 days ago
Wishful thinking and bravado on climate change are eclipsing reality. Countries in the European Union are struggling to increase energy efficiency and renewable power to the levels that they claimed they would. Japan promised cuts in emissions to match those of its peers, but meeting the goals will cost more than the country is willing to pay. Even without Trump's attempts to roll back federal climate policy, the United States is shifting its economy to clean energy too slowly. China rolls on with its coal-fired power stations oblivious to the Paris accord and can do so with impunity until 2030. So why should we be first cab off the rank when our share of the greenhouse gas emissions on the world stage is miniscule, and its total cessation would have no effect at all on global warming?

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