Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

West Coast council rejects government climate change bill

West Coast council rejects government climate change bill

Kate Gudsell, Environment Reporter

The West Coast Regional Council wants more scientific evidence to prove human-driven climate change is happening before it will commit to reducing emissions.

The men of the West
Coast Regional Council, standing in front of the council
offices

The West Coast Regional Council does not support the government's Zero Carbon Bill. Photo: wcrc.govt.nzl

The council does not support the government's Zero Carbon Bill and is the only regional council in the country to reject it.

In its submission, the council said if West Coasters were to commit to emissions targets, "the evidence proving anthropogenic climate change must be presented and proven beyond reasonable doubt".

The council's planning, science and innovation manager Hadley Mills said there was too much uncertainty about the economic and social impact from the bill.



He said a lot more work needed to be done so they could understand how jobs and communities would be affected.

He said the council was not denying climate change but it was a struggle to understand it.

"We must be objective and base our decisions on science and that's why we want the science presented really simply; we don't have climate change experts on our staff so we just want everyone to understand it."

The council's stance did not impress Hector local Penny Madden, who said in her 20 years in the region the sea changed dramatically.

"I mean it's lapping right at my sea wall at high tide now and that's really close."

Ms Madden had no doubt this was the result of climate change and said the council's stance was irresponsible and disappointing, but not surprising.

Three cyclones in the last five years have damaged neighbouring houses.

Ms Madden said the council's submission did not represent their views.

The submission went through a council meeting and was signed off by regional councils.

RNZ attempted to contact all seven representatives. One councillor, Stuart Challenger, said he was the sole elected voice opposing the council's submission and that the council needed to start acting on climate change.

Councillor and miner Allan Birchfield said the bill and climate change was a fraud and said it would end up costing locals.

He said the government needed to pay attention to what had happened in France with the so-called yellow jackets, the protesters who wreaked havoc in Paris, demonstrations sparked by rising fuel prices.

New Zealand's representative on the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Brownyn Hayward, said the community should not be written off as "rednecks" who did not understand the issue.

The council submitted that it had limited ability to contribute to reduce carbon levels through tree planting as only 16 percent of its land was not part of the conservation estate.

It also said it would be challenging for the region to move to a fully electric vehicles, because of the need to charge batteries.

Dr Hayward said if New Zealand wanted to avoid a yellow jacket situation then it needed to understand what was hurting smaller communities.

"It's thinking about how these communities can be really supported in innovative ways, rather than just writing it off as a kind of redneck response.

"It's really important that we think carefully about this because we don't want to end up like America or France with these complete cultural divisions between communities."

Dr Hayward said the West Coast should be a flag on how New Zealand made the transition to a lower carbon economy.

The Zero Carbon Bill should be up before the government's Select Committee next month.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On America’s ‘Green New Deal’

‘Socialism’ is more of a political scare word than an objective condition. Even in the US, as Nate Silver’s 538 website pointed out this week there is polling evidence that modern Americans are inclined to treat socialism as meaning ‘equality’ rather than the ‘government ownership or control’ that Americans understood the term to mean back in the 1940s... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Nelson Fire And Climate Change

The Nelson fire has been a useful warning of things to come, given how climate change will (a) increase the likelihood of reduced rainfall and drought-like conditions in many parts of New Zealand, which – obviously – will raise (b) the fire danger and (c) the cost of providing the communities at risk with the enhanced firefighting capabilities that they’re going to need. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Listening To Ocasio-Cortez About Tax

In its attitudes to tax, New Zealand has been the last colonial outpost of Thatcherism. Change, however, may be in the air. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Exit From Afghanistan

To state the bleedingly obvious, US military forces have done a good deal of harm over the past 50 years from Central America to Asia to Africa. That history is now tending to obscure the harm that’s being done by the polar opposite impulse: American isolationism... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit Vote Aftermath

So, what happens next? Normally when a major policy like this gets so crushingly rejected – by 230 votes, when Theresa May had reportedly been hoping for a defeat by “only” 70- 100 votes – the PM would resign and/or a fresh election called. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our History Of Selling Out The Kurds

For the past 100 years, the West has sold out the Kurds over and over again. So much so that it came as a surprise yesterday when US National Security advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back the latest act of betrayal... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog