Labour climate policy a good start but not strong enough

Press release - September 8, 2017
In response to the Labour Party’s climate policy released this morning, Greenpeace climate campaigner, Kate Simcock, says:

“It’s a promising start that Labour, who could be leading New Zealand in just a few short weeks, have the bones of a plan when it comes to climate change. This already puts them ahead of the National Government, who have backed oil drilling, road building and dairy intensification as our emissions, unsurprisingly, continue to soar.

“We are pleased to see that Labour will bring agriculture, our greatest polluter, into the Emissions Trading Scheme, but would like to see it happen faster. The announcement that they will slash funding for the big irrigation schemes that drive the expansion of industrial dairy, and support eco-agriculture is an important move.  

“However, Labour’s climate policy in its current form doesn’t go nearly far enough to deal with the seriousness or the urgency of the problem we face. The world has never seen a threat as great as climate change. Every person and living thing on this planet will be affected.  It is indeed the “nuclear free moment” of our generation and we need Kirk and Lange scale courage to take on some of the most powerful industries in the world.

“What Labour’s climate policy lacks is the will to immediately put a stop to the activities, like burning oil, coal, and gas, that we know are the driving force behind climate change.

“Instead, they seem to be hoping that a Climate Commission will make the hard calls. The creation of a Climate Commission is a useful  move, but we don’t need it to enact direct and tangible policies, like an immediate ban on oil exploration, and a phased ban on coal burning for electricity and dehydration, and on new thermal build generation.

We would also like to see a commitment to a 100% fossil-free electricity grid which would also be a useful demonstration to the rest of the world that it is doable.

“It was an inspiring moment when Jacinda Ardern compared climate change to New Zealand’s nuclear-free movement, but we’ve yet to see her really back it up.”