Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Step up on climate change needed now

Media release
EMBARGOED TO : Monday 16 February 2015 at 5.30 pm

Step up on climate change needed now

The New Zealand Government and the world need to take much stronger action on climate change, a former prime minister and minister for the environment has urged.

Climate change is clearly occurring but it is not too late for people to turn the situation around, Sir Geoffrey Palmer told a public meeting at Victoria University of Wellington today. Determined action and an agreed long-term policy framework can make a difference.

The Government does not have a credible climate change policy, says Sir Geoffrey. “What we have now amounts to policy failure. New Zealand seems to have lost its mojo in looking after the environment generally. But to neglect climate change, the greatest issue of our age, is unacceptable. It is contrary to all our traditions as a progressive country.”

The scientific consensus on climate change is clear that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, snow and ice have diminished, sea levels have risen, and greenhouse gases have increased. It is easy to lose hope “but that is the wrong approach”, Sir Geoffrey told the meeting.

“We must not despair. We must hope and we must act. We must stop being threatened and rise to the challenge. Big changes to climate change policies everywhere are as necessary as they are inevitable.”


Such change would require much cooperation at all levels by Government , business, agriculture and individual behaviours, says Sir Geoffrey. A concerted effort around the world is required.

“We must offer something better than dystopian horrors to the next generations.”

International negotiations on climate change have been painfully slow and the lack of a legally binding commitment on emission targets is likely to lead to failure, he says.

Sir Geoffrey urged New Zealand to avoid political polarisation on the issue and for parties to work together to improve the law on climate change. Urgent attention was needed to reform the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Climate Change Response Act 2002.

“We know how to combat climate change: reduce the burning of fossil fuels, accelerate the development of alternative energy sources. If we are to keep the warming below 2 degrees we must leave two-thirds of fossil fuel reserves in the ground. New Zealand must repair its defective law. The cure is straightforward.”

The need to transition to a low-carbon economy has been obvious for more than 20 years, he says, but “New Zealand decision-makers have not grasped the nettle”.

The weakness of the New Zealand emissions trading scheme is notorious, Sir Geoffrey says. Emissions have increased by 20 per cent since 1990 and are projected to continue to rise substantially.

“New Zealand needs a long-term consensus based policy agenda that produces a new legal pathway to deal effectively with those issues under New Zealand’s control.”

There are many ingredients to the transformative change that will be required- individual behaviours are important, leadership and “nudges” from government will matter. Most critical is an effective policy framework.

Economic growth and climate change action are not incompatible, he says. However, policy failures at both international and national levels are “a sad indictment on the incapacity of the peoples of the world to act in their own collective self-interest.”

The lack of leadership, and the limp global response so far is “lamentable”, says Sir Geoffrey. “A quantum leap forward in international governance is required.”

For more details, see the full speech attached here.
Climate_Change__Final_single_spaced.docx

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Declaring Premature Victory


Sure enough, Saturday’s Vaxathon was a barrel of fun and a throwback not merely to the Telethons of the past. It also revived memories of those distant days of early 2020, when we were all carefully wiping down our groceries, not touching our faces, washing our hands for 20 seconds and responding to level four lockdowns by putting teddy bears in the window for the benefit of the little kids walking by in their family bubbles. Those were the days, when the Team of Five Million felt like a real, organic thing... More>>

RNZ: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces Cabinet decision on Covid-19 alert levels


Northland will move to level 2 at 11.59pm on 19 October. Waikato will be held at level 3, to be reviewed on Friday. Auckland will remain in level 3 with current restrictions for another two weeks... More>>

ALSO:




 
 

Economy: Inflation highest in over a decade
The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter... More>>

ALSO:


Government: New Zealand Increases Climate Aid Contribution

The Government is making a four-fold increase in the support it provides to countries most vulnerable to the climate emergency, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>

Government: Opportunity To Shape NZ’s First Emissions Reduction Plan
The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today... More>>

ALSO:


CPay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels