Climate Survey Reveals Major Parties Off Target In Tackling Climate Change

Press release - March 30, 2008
Both Labour and National have performed poorly in a major climate change political survey released today. (1)

Climate Politics Survey Results Report

 "Although the Labour-led government is implementing a series of climate change policies, the party refuses to commit to the strong policies needed for leadership on climate change, particularly when it comes to land use decisions and agricultural emissions," said Greenpeace Political Adviser Geoff Keey.

The survey, compiled by Greenpeace and sent to all political parties, also confirms the National Party is suffering a policy vacuum when it comes to climate.

"National needs to match its rhetoric on tackling climate change with policies.  There appears to be no plan from National to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is the only real solution to climate change."

A surprise performer in the survey was the Progressive Party, which was second only to the Greens in terms of its commitment to confronting climate change. The Green Party had the strongest policies of any political party in Parliament. However no party has yet developed sufficiently strong climate policies to deliver the necessary emissions cuts needed to prevent the worst climate impacts.

The survey release comes just two days before a political debate onboard the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior, which is in Wellington from Wednesday as part of a six week nation-wide climate change tour. Climate spokespeople from key parties will take part in the debate, which will be webcast live.

"New Zealand is just months away from an election. We've timed this questionnaire to make sure the public knows which parties are serious about tackling climate change, and to give all political parties time to improve their policies prior to the election," said Mr Keey.

The survey consisted of 20 questions covering a range of issues about climate change, including emission reduction targets, domestic emission reductions, agriculture, transport, energy, the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, our international obligations, and social equity.

"The questions are deliberately forward-looking and seek commitments from political parties on the basis of what they will do, rather than what they've already achieved," said Mr Keey.

"Some political parties may be disappointed with how they rate, but the fact remains there is a lot that needs to be done on climate, beyond what has been committed to by the parties.

"The most crucial thing for each party to do is set a domestic emissions reduction target of 30 per cent by 2020 and develop policies to tackle emissions from the agricultural sector, including as a first step bringing the sector into the emissions trading scheme within the next two years. (2)

"Only these commitments will achieve the level of emission cuts needed to help avoid dangerous levels of climate change."

The New Zealand Government is currently represented by a delegation of officials at the United Nations climate meeting taking place from 31 March to 4 April in Bangkok.  Here, delegates will continue their discussions on the 25-40 per cent by 2020 cuts which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified are needed to prevent the worst climate impacts, and which developed countries committed to "in principle" at the last United Nations climate meeting in Bali.

"The New Zealand delegation needs to show political leadership at this conference, but to have credibility in doing so, we need to be showing leadership at home."

Greenpeace is strictly independent and does not support any political party. The organisation expects every political party to take climate change seriously and for their policies to reflect this.

For details of the ship tour, see

Other contacts: Suzette Jackson – (Greenpeace Communications Manager) 021614 899 Geoff Keey (Greenpeace political advisor) – 021504 486

Notes: (1) The survey - The Politics of Climate Change; Where New Zealand’s Political Parties Stand on the Biggest Challenge We Face - is available at (2) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified a range of 25-40 per cent reductions by 2020 for developed countries like New Zealand. Greenpeace is calling for the New Zealand Government and all political parties to set an emissions reduction target of 30 per cent by 2020. In order to reach this target, we need the agricultural sector, which accounts for half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, on board.

Exp. contact date: 2008-04-30 00:00:00