Now that the Internet Party are up and running, and if the latest polls are anything to go by, gaining some tailwind, they’ve today announced their environmental policy.
And as part of our election year review of party policies and attitudes towards the environment, it seemed only reasonable to offer our considered thoughts on Dotcom’s latest contribution to the political mix.
Firstly, it’s good to see that that the party has recognised the enormous opportunities that doing things in a cleaner smarter way could bring to New Zealand.
And perhaps it’s no surprise that there is an emphasis on green data centres. The advances being made globally in this sector are happening at an ultra-fast pace as companies like Facebook and Google look to power their global reach with clean energy.
So it makes sense to think of leveraging New Zealand's clean energy powerbase to attract major business to power their data centres here.
The party is also proposing a target of 100% renewable electricity within 10 years which will help grow jobs and economic prosperity in technologies such as wind, solar and geothermal, taking fossil fuels out of our generating mix. It’s much more ambitious than the Government has set out and it’s doable. And that begs the question: why would the Government lower expectation when reaching the target would put Kiwis at the forefront of the global clean energy development?
The focus on Christchurch, to create a truly sustainable city, reflects what communities have been calling for, as have major opposition parties. It seems a no-brainer.
But what’s missing? Well, we still don’t know where they stand on deepwater drilling, mining on conservation land or climate change. For example, how would they arrest New Zealand's current trajectory of rapidly rising emissions and what would they do to clean up our rivers and streams?
The Internet Party's environmental policy is a fair effort that recognises the world is coming round to the Kiwi way of doing things and indicates that the party seeks to harness this opportunity to create jobs and boost our economy.
Yet the old adage regarding the devil and the detail applies: there’s ambition and some smart thinking going on here, but just how they propose to take us there remains to be seen.
This blog is part of the #election2014 series. The series discusses New Zealand politics and the policies and, sometimes, lack of them, of our political parties. We hope that it provokes a bit of debate.
Greenpeace is non-party political. We do not align ourselves with any political party and are committed to the principle of political independence. To maintain our independence, we don’t accept money from governments, corporations or political parties.