Pedalling Backwards on Climate Change

Kennedy Graham was in Invercargill this evening as part of his tour around the provinces where he is sharing the Green vision of a future New Zealand economy that could better manage our responsibilities around climate change: "The Great Transformation".

Kennedy explained how we can approach change in a more positive way, instead of avoiding the issue as the current National led Government has done. Although there is a target of reducing emissions by 50% by 2050, we have actually been seeing a steady increase. This has largely been because of the Government's disengagement and deliberate weakening of the ETS. Our current situation is dire, thanks to National we have:
  • Refused to sign phase two of the Kyoto protocol to avoid the financial penalties of not meeting our targets.
  • Weakened the ETS by refusing to include farming as originally planned and allowed cheap Eastern European carbon credits into the country that dropped the price to such a low level that they no longer provide a financial incentive. 
  • Refused to set binding targets.
  • Provided no incentive for reforestation.
  • Refused to implement a comprehensive strategy for managing climate change.
  • Put $12 billion into building roads while we have declining traffic volumes.
  • Encouraged the mining of coal (the worst producer of carbon emissions).
  • Encouraged exploration and drilling for oil in our territorial waters (deep sea). 
The Government claims there is no point in doing much because, in the big scheme of things, our total emissions are a small fraction of the world total, but this ignores the fact that per capita we are one of the worst emitters in the world. Our clean green image is a fantasy.

With the right economic signals from the Government of the day we can turn the economy around to one that is climate sensitive without great suffering.  While as a small country our efforts alone won't save the planet, at least we will be doing our share and setting an example to others.

Here is Kennedy explaining to a Local TV journalist what it is all about, the interview starts 7:45 min in.


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