The National Party is set to announce its Cabinet line up in next two days. Former Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee is likely to feature as Energy Minister.
This is the same Mr Brownlee that has publicly professed a strange coal fetish. He has gone so far as to call this climate-killing energy dinosaur “sexy”. Best Gerry stays well away from Huntly if that’s the case.
He’s also a big fan of gas, another fossil fuel and contributor to climate change. This was all reflected in the party’s energy strategy, released just prior to the election. The strategy failed to even mention climate change and read like something from the 1970s.
National is expected to do away with Labour’s 10-year ban on new fossil fuel electricity generation and the target of 90 per cent renewable electricity by 2025. To do so would be short-sighted and stupid. It’s embarrassing enough that the head of State Owned Enterprise Solid Energy Don Elder has just been appointed chairman of World Coal Institute (talk about flying the wrong flag for New Zealand), but for our new Government to turn its back so supremely on renewable energy initiatives would confirm we’re backwards and don’t give a toss about climate change.
Last year Greenpeace commissioned a major report into sustainable energy which found that we can infact achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 whilst maintaining security of supply. The New Zealand Energy Revolution: How to prevent climate chaos, would make good late night reading for Gerry, assuming he’s not too busy pouring over Coal Weekly.