New Zealand First Reveals What The National Party Is Doing Behind The Scenes On Climate Change

24 February 2017

As the issues do not come any bigger than climate change, New Zealand First commits itself to a genuine response to climate change as opposed to the pretense and make-believe, which New Zealanders have had from this government over the past eight years.

 

“Every party, except for New Zealand First, has signed up to a faulty and expensive Emissions Trading Scheme, known generally as the ETS,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“The Emissions Trading Scheme is a racket and just as the National government announced yesterday with ‘swimmability’, it is pure window dressing designed to make it look as if it is taking climate change seriously.

“This year alone, the ETS will directly gobble up $250m of taxpayers’ dollars.  And for what?  The ETS is also indirectly added to the cost of anything we buy, from petrol to bread. 

“The ETS has contributed nothing to reducing carbon emissions – the only thing that really matters. What it has done, is to allow for all sorts of game playing and financial rip-offs. 

“We will spend 45 times more enriching carbon traders than what is invested into researching solutions through the Global Research Alliance?

“The ETS represents the very thing the contemporary National Party and its cronies thrive on.  This Party has changed and not for the better.

“We know that senior members of the National Party, like former President and leader of its so-called ‘Blue-Greens,’ Geoff Thompson, now realise that the ETS is not just a dog, but a dog with fleas.

“New Zealand First is reliably informed that Mr Thompson has met senior Ministry for the Environment officials and that those officials, public servants, are apparently very keen to watch a recorded keynote presentation from the National Party’s Blue-Green Forum. 

“This forum is taking place tomorrow in Helensville in Mr Key’s electorate, but we understand the new Prime Minister will be attending along with Minister Bennett.      

“What the public servants want to hear is a presentation by Lord Deben, the Rt Hon John Gummer, who chairs the UK’s Committee on Climate Change.

“The UK Committee on Climate Change is an independent, statutory body established by the UK Parliament. Its purpose is to advise the UK Government on emissions targets and report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change.

“Well, we’ve got news for those wanting to hear that presentation, hallelujah, it’s about time, because New Zealand First got there many years ago.

“Lord Deben’s presentation will reflect New Zealand First’s long standing policy on climate change.  The blunt fact is that the ETS is a sham and we know that senior National Party officials privately agree, given Mr Thompson, the head of National’s Blue-Greens, agreed with Lord Debden that KiwiRail’s planned de-electrification of our railways was not only atrocious, but an incredibly bad look for New Zealand. 

“That comes after Lord Deben watched National’s answer to Iraq’s ‘Comical Ali,’ David Bennett, hamfistly defend KiwiRail’s decision to de-electrify the main trunk line in favour of diesel.  Lord Deben, who is here as National’s Blue-Green keynote speaker, apparently commented that ‘diesel is an outrage’.

“New Zealand First is clear, de-electrification is not a choice open to KiwiRail.  It is not an operational decision.  It is a bad decision.

“It is time to get real on climate change so this is what New Zealand First will do,” Mr Peters said.

 

  • We reconfirm our commitment to repeal the Emissions Trading Scheme and replace it with a UK-style Climate Change Act; 

  • Integral to this new Climate Change Act will be a new Parliamentary Commission for Climate Change, or PCCC, to be established as an office of Parliament.

  • The Parliamentary Commission for Climate Change will be legally responsible for reporting against both the Kyoto and Paris Agreements.  It will work with the government to set a three-yearly ‘Carbon Budget’ designed to reach these commitments meaning that KiwiRail’s de-electrification would be impossible.

  • The first such ‘Carbon Budget’ will become operative in 2021 with the Parliamentary Commission for Climate Change providing independent advice to Government on how to meet carbon budgets and how to prepare for climate change.  It will also conduct independent analysis into climate change science, economics and policy.

  • New Zealand First envisages that the new agency will be led by a Commissioner for Climate Change supported by independent expert Assistant Commissioners - National’s political re-treads need not apply!   

  • As with all its policies New Zealand First is committed to value for money for taxpayers. As such, the Parliamentary Commission for Climate Change would be funded 100% from current administrative costs for the Emissions Trading Scheme meaning it is cost neutral.  The savings from no longer having to buy emission units will instead be redirected into research and adaption.