Today’s Herald story on the results of the Shape NZ survey “Many want bolder emissions cuts” actually understates public support for cutting emissions.

The Herald reported that “49 per cent wanted cuts of at least 20 per cent”.

What it didn’t say was that a mere 23% wanted an emissions cut of less than this.  The remaining 28% actually responded “not sure”.

So if you take these “unsure” folks out of the equation, you actually get 68% support for targets of 20% or more.  

What’s more, the survey also asked whether people would be prepared to back an even larger cut, if the rest of the world adopted a stronger target.  The answer was, unequivocally, yes – with only 14% disagreement.

It’s clear that John Key’s Government (hinting at a 15% target) is way out of sync with public opinion on this issue, including the views of its own supporters.

More National Party voters wanted emissions cuts of 20% or greater than wanted a lesser target, and most backed an even larger cut if the rest of the world agreed to a strong target.

John Key ignores these blue-greens at his peril.

Just take a look at Geoff Ross’ opinion piece – also in today’s Herald.  This high profile businessman – and National Party voter – has come out strongly in support of a 40% by 2020 emissions reduction target. 

He wants New Zealand to take leadership on climate change, and to live up to its clean green reputation.  It seems the majority of his fellow Kiwis agree.