Nat’s environment policy lets down NZ
9 November 2011
Nat’s environment policy
lets down NZ
National’s environment policy lets down the New Zealand public, who in a recent poll, ranked the environment as the number one issue for this election, said the Green Party today.
“National won’t make a real commitment to protect our environment and isn’t prepared to make the hard calls to secure a clean, green future,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
Dr Norman was responding to the National Party’s launch of their environment policy in Nelson today.
“National has already watered down our Emissions Trading Scheme so much it will have virtually no impact on greenhouse emissions, and now National is further delaying its phased implementation,” said Dr Norman.
“These delays mean that the taxpayer will pay more and polluters will pay less.
“Under National, we will miss the smart green economic wave, and the benefits that will come from being a leader on a low carbon economy.”
Dr Norman welcomed the adoption of the Green Party suggestion to have independent national environmental reporting, which they have been calling for since 2008, but expressed concern over several other environmental policies announced today.
“National’s environment policy is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff,” said Dr Norman.
“National is happy to provide some money for river and lake clean-ups, but they lack the courage to prevent agribusiness and industry from polluting our rivers in the first place.
“They are instituting a TV recycling programme, but not mandatory product stewardship schemes, and incentivising electric cars rather than public transport which is environmentally friendly and solves traffic congestion problems.
“The EEZ legislation they have introduced is a pathway to risky ocean development, such as deep sea oil drilling, rather than ocean protection.
“If the Green Party has the ability to influence these policies after the election, we would toughen them up and put a backbone into them in order to better protect our environment from the causes of pollution.
“For example, the Green Party has a plan to make our rivers and lakes clean enough to swim in again. We will introduce standards for clean water that deal with the causes of pollution, as well as a charge for irrigation water that will fund water clean-up initiatives.”
Dr Norman said cleaning up New Zealand’s rivers and lakes was one of the Green Party's top three election priorities. The others were bringing 100,000 kids out of poverty, and creating 100,000 new clean, green jobs.
Green Party Plan for Clean Rivers and Lakes: http://www.greens.org.nz/cleanrivers