Groser misleads on climate costs to justify lack of ambition

Minister of Climate Change Issues, Tim Groser, continues to pedal misleading numbers around the cost of reducing New Zealand’s climate pollution.

On Q&A yesterday, Minister Groser again misrepresented the cost New Zealanders would bear to meet his Government’s low target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 11 percent below 1990 levels. 

“Claiming that action on climate change will cost New Zealanders $30 billion dollars, without saying how much Kiwis would save by taking that action, is grossly misleading and Tim Groser knows it,”  said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“Tim Groser’s calculations intentionally exclude the benefits that would come from action on climate change, such as savings to the public health system from reduced air pollution, savings in transport costs from better public transport, and lower power bills resulting from the introduction of solar power.

“The US, China and Europe all understand that acting now to cut climate pollution will save enormous amount of money, yet this Government continues to hold tight to a mind-set of seeing action as a cost,” said Mr Shaw.

The New Climate Economy Report released in 2014 by a team of internationally renowned economists, led by Lord Nicholas Stern, found that countries can improve their economic performance while cutting emissions. The Chair of the Bank of America, the head of the OECD, the World Bank, the Vice Chair of Deutsche Bank, and many others, have endorsed this finding.

“By highlighting only the cost of climate action, Mr Groser is trying to justify the weak and internationally embarrassing target he will take to Paris next week,” said Mr Shaw.

“The Minister has also tried to hide the cost to New Zealand of not acting to stop catastrophic climate change.

“We already know that events like the 2013 drought, which cost the New Zealand economy $1.3 billion, will happen more often as the world warms up.

“The Green Party has already brought together academics and industry experts to develop a plan that will make meaningful cuts to climate pollution, and boost the economy. Tim Groser is welcome to use it,” Mr Shaw said.

The New Climate Economy Report can be found at http://newclimateeconomy.report/

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