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2050 Pollution Reduction Target “Meaningless Window Dressing

National’s 2050 Pollution Reduction Target “Meaningless Window Dressing”

The Government’s announcement of regulations to set a greenhouse gas pollution reduction target by 2050 is meaningless window dressing, the Labour Party Environment spokesperson Charles Chauvel says.

“Any government can safely set a 2050 target without worrying about whether it will be around to fulfil it”, Charles Chauvel said.

“What counts is a 2020 reduction target, and Nick Smith and Tim Groser refused to set one of these for New Zealand when asked to do so last month at the UN Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico.

“They refused, because they simply can’t set a 2020 target. Every measure they’ve taken since coming into office has set New Zealand on a course for more, not less, greenhouse gas pollution.

“This Government’s climate change record after only just over two years in office includes:

Watering down the Emissions Trading Scheme, turning it from an incentive to reduce emissions into an unsustainable subsidy for polluters;

Doing away with schemes like the biofuels obligation;

Refusing to promote smart metering technology by setting an industry standard for it;

Repealing the statutory requirement that NZ generate 90% of its electricity baseload from renewable sources by 2025;

Doing nothing to build capability in NZ for the commercial availability of electric vehicles, which will come as early as this year;

Scaling back investment plans for public transport;

Working internationally in league with countries that are seeking to block binding targets for greenhouse gas pollution reduction.

“If Nick Smith were serious about reducing emissions, he would have put both a 2020 and a 2050 emissions reduction target into the legislation amending the ETS last year. Labour offered its support to him for this course at the time, but it was clear that his cabinet colleagues would have none of it.

“Instead, we have today’s announcement to the National Party’s Bluegreens – of regulations that can be altered at the stroke of a minister’s pen setting a target 39 years away. It is meaningless window-dressing, much like the existence of the BlueGreens themselves, when matched against the reality of National’s appalling disregard for the environment during their term of office”, Charles Chauvel said.


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