The Green Party is offering its plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions to the National Government, after Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser confirmed this morning that his plan is flimsy.
Speaking on Q+A this morning, Mr Groser demonstrated that not only is the Government’s target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 11 per cent on 1990 levels feeble, but his plan to achieve it has no substance.
“The Green Party has a plan to get us to 40 per cent, but the National Government prefers to keep its head in the sand and pay lip service to taking action,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“We can be leaders and reach an ambitious emissions reduction target that New Zealanders can be proud of. We can have a more prosperous New Zealand now, and leave a stable climate for the future.
“The key to the Government’s emissions reduction is the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), a scheme so ineffective that emissions have actually risen in the time since it was instituted.
“The world needs to cut emissions by 40 per cent on 1990 levels in order to stay below 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Going higher than that would cause catastrophic climate change.
“Our plan will get us there. We would introduce a Green Investment Bank to stimulate growth of a low emissions economy, a Climate Commission that assesses the Government’s progress on meeting targets and provides advice on improvements, and a revenue neutral ‘Climate Tax Cut’ that puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions, but recycles the revenue back to householders and business via tax credits.
“The Government has said that cutting emissions will cost households, but Mr Groser has not considered what an opportunity transitioning away from carbon and reducing emissions could be for New Zealand’s people and our clean, green image,” said Mr Shaw.