The National Government’s unwillingness to work cross-party to address climate change is putting businesses and the economy at greater risk, the Green Party said today.
Green Party co-leader James Shaw questioned Finance Minister Bill English in the House today on reaching a consensus on the climate — the first of a week-long series of questions on the climate in the lead up to talks in Paris starting on November 30.
“The National Government’s unwillingness to work cross-party means the Government will have to change before business and consumers get stable, meaningful action on climate change,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“The National’s Government’s current plan on the climate is not credible. New Zealand’s climate emissions have not stopped rising.
“The only policy stability National is offering New Zealand is to continue to do nothing on the climate.
“A climate plan that’s leading to increasing levels of carbon pollution is not future proof nor will it help business make a fair transition to a low carbon economy.
“National ‘plans’ to cut carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050 yet their changes to the main policy lever for driving carbon emissions lower — the Emissions Trading Scheme — have made it completely ineffectual.
“The Green Party has demonstrated that New Zealand can make meaningful, long-term cuts to our carbon pollution while making concessions to agriculture to meet National’s longstanding commitment to protect the sector from the impacts of its pollution. Meanwhile, National has conceded nothing.
“Our plan would enable us to take to Paris a climate reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the world to fight climate change.”
“National are letting us all down by acting like a tired, third-term government that has lost all interest in governing in the best, long-term interests of New Zealand.”