National shows its climate colours & they ain't green!
Auckland May 9 2008 – The National Party is finally revealing its true colours on climate change and it's clear it's the party for big business polluters, says Greenpeace.
National is trying to get rid of a 10-year partial ban on new thermal generation, which is contained in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation currently before Select Committee. It is doing so in backroom talks with Labour, in which it's alleged to have offered support for the ETS as long as the thermal ban is dropped.
"National has kept deathly quiet about the details of its climate change policy, in the hope that a bit of public greenwashing will suffice," said Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid.
"Now the truth is coming out. National doesn't care for any strong climate policies; it is more interested in currying favour with big business polluters and opening the way for the increased use of fossil fuels in New Zealand.
"New fossil fuel power stations are being lined up, for example the proposed Genesis gas power station in John Key's own electorate of Helensville. No doubt his constituents will be very disappointed by the news he supports such projects.
"A thermal moratorium is crucial and the legislation before parliament is a key step in the process. The ETS alone does not fully internalise the environmental cost of fossil fuelled electricity generation and it's essential that New Zealand sends a clear signal that renewable energy is favoured.
"Scrapping the moratorium will mean more costs for the taxpayer, because our Kyoto bill will just keep skyrocketing unless we switch to low carbon energy options. Taxpayers will be forced to foot that bill and quite frankly, they'll have enough to deal with if the changes to the ETS already proposed by Labour this week go ahead (1).
"Every tax dollar spent by the Government to appease big business polluters is money taken away from spending on public transport, hospitals and schools.
"Just a few weeks ago, National's Environment Spokesman Nick Smith was onboard the Rainbow Warrior saying 'coal is the worst form of generating electricity' and that 'we need to provide for greater renewable energy'.
"What's changed? Perhaps Dr Smith finally got around to watching his colleague, Energy Spokesman Gerry Brownlee's "Sexy Coal" video (2), which strongly promotes the use of the most polluting fossil fuel around.
Meanwhile Parker's office is saying "nothing's off the table". "Does this include dangerous climate change and the loss of New Zealand's clean green reputation?" said McDiarmid.
"Because this is where we're heading if climate policy in New Zealand continues to get watered down to the point of redundancy."