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Key proved wrong on costs of climate action

3 June 2015

Key proved wrong on costs of climate action

The Government’s own economic modelling has proved John Key wrong about the cost of reducing New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today following an exchange between the Prime Minister and new Green Party Co-leader James Shaw in Parliament.

“It would only cost one tenth of one percent of GDP growth annually to reduce New Zealand’s emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, compared to doing nothing, according to the Government’s own economic modelling,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.

“Why wouldn’t we choose an ambitious and fair 40 percent emissions reduction target when it would still see our economy growing 2.1 percent annually – the same amount as with a token 5 percent reduction target – according to the Government’s economic analysis?

“John Key says reducing emissions would be ‘disastrous’ for the economy, but his own economic modelling shows the impact is marginal.

“John Key is just scaremongering. He needs to wake up and realise that New Zealanders want an ambitious and fair emissions reduction target, and clearly it’s achievable and affordable according to the Government’s own economic modelling.

“What would really be disastrous is the impact of catastrophic climate change on our coastal communities and rural economies. But the Government’s economic analysis doesn’t take account of these costs.

“John Key says a 40 percent emissions reduction would cost households $1800, but what he’s hiding is that the same analysis shows that real gross national disposable income will actually grow by 2.3 percent each year – that’s higher than wages are growing at the moment!

“It looks like the Government sought economic advice to back up its narrow ideological opinion that New Zealand can’t afford to reduce its emissions, and when the economists showed that was wrong the Government tried to hide their work until a groundswell of Official Information Act requests forced them to release it.

“The Green Party supports the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s call today for an ambitious climate action plan that embraces the economic benefits of forestry, clean transport, and renewable energy, which are all excluded from the Government’s economic modelling.

“Real economic prosperity in the twenty first century will come from embracing clean technologies, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting our communities and industries against the worst impacts of climate change,” said Mr Shaw.

ENDS


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