New LSE report says cutting emissions is self-interested economics

New research by the London School of Economics shows that the National Government’s assumption that action on climate change will cost more than inaction is wrong, the Green Party said today.

The research, published by two research institutes at the London School of Economics, concludes that the majority of the global emissions reductions needed to decarbonise the global economy can be achieved in ways that are nationally net-beneficial to countries, even leaving aside the climate benefits.

“Reducing emissions and economic prosperity are not trade-offs as the National Government sees it, but rather an opportunity to shift to a smart, green economy that is good for people and the planet,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“The National Government has committed New Zealand to the status of ‘free loader’ because its emissions reduction target is so low it means other countries will have to pick up our slack, or we’ll get runaway climate change.”

Author of the LSE report, Fergus Green, said, “Those who think there is an incentive for countries to ‘free-ride’ on the climate protection provided by others are very much mistaken. Countries should see the climate talks in Paris this December as an opportunity to work with each other to deliver as quickly as possible the mutual gains that can result from decarbonising the economy.”

Mr Shaw said, “It’s time for the National Government to let go of its irresponsible thinking and embrace the benefits of reducing New Zealand’s carbon pollution.

“For example, instead of increasing spending for low-value motorways, the Government can start building Auckland’s City Rail Link which will reduce carbon pollution and get Auckland moving again.

“The Government can help schools reduce their power bills by investing $20 million into solar power systems in schools, allowing them to benefit from cheaper, cleaner power and leaving them with more money to invest in education.

“It’s time for the Government to accept that climate change solutions provide win-win opportunities to create a fairer more prosperous New Zealand,” Mr Shaw said.


Link to the LSE report: