Greenpeace is calling out the Government for gambling with the climate crisis, saying that Budget 2023 puts corporate profit ahead of acting on climate change and the cost of living.
Greenpeace climate campaigner, Christine Rose, says “to find out why the Government is failing to take action, you just have to follow the money. New Zealand’s most polluting industries – agriculture, transport, and energy – are profiting from the status quo, while vulnerable communities disproportionately carry the environmental and economic costs.”
“Industry lobbyists have pushed the Government into inaction on the transformative change needed to address both the climate and cost of living crises.
“The Government had compelling reasons to invest in real climate solutions in Budget 2023, because this year has shown us what happens when we don’t act to stem the tide of climate pollution,” says Rose. “Resilience funding will not stop this crisis from getting worse – we can’t sandbag our way out of storms that are constantly escalating in severity.”
“The intensive dairy industry, led by Fonterra, is New Zealand’s worst climate polluter. Changing the way that we farm is a necessity, and the Government had a golden opportunity to fund the transition from intensive dairy to ecological, low-emissions farming – but it has not delivered.
“We’ve seen yet more missed opportunities on transport and energy, and it’s incredibly disappointing,” says Rose. “Prioritising investment in walking, cycling, and public transport over roads would reduce climate pollution and make it easier for New Zealanders to get from A to B at much lower costs.”
“While it’s positive to see that half-price fares remain for some, we needed bolder and more visionary strategies, including significant investment in expanding rail and making public transport fares free for all.
“We welcome the funding boost for home insulation and heat pumps, but are disappointed not to see significant investment in locally-owned renewable energy. This would end our dependence on oil, gas and coal, and also reduce the power bills of everyday New Zealanders, addressing both the cost of living and climate crisis,” says Rose.
“Industry greed and profiteering in the face of a climate and cost of living crisis is completely unacceptable. By choosing to protect corporate profits over people and nature, the Government is delaying action that would benefit all New Zealanders. Everyone has the right to a healthy environment and a safe and stable climate – and government action is required to secure these.
“This budget has made it clear that we need a Climate Election where all political parties understand that the climate crisis transcends politics. Polluting industries cannot be allowed to continue with denial and delay, forcing us all to carry the costs of escalating severe climate disasters.”