I was reminded today of an ancient proverb:
We do not inherit our world from our parents, we borrow it from our children.
That’s a sound philosophy for any Parliamentarian but, sadly, I doubt many of the MPs on the National side of the House will agree with it.
I very rarely talk about my family in Parliament. I do my best to protect my kids from the vicissitudes of politics because they didn’t chose my job and they miss out on enough with me being in Wellington so often. Today, though, I was thinking about my sons and about their future children.
I know that, if things keep going as they are, then one day my sons will ask “Dad, why didn’t you do more to stop them from destroying our planet?”
National’s Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Bill is very dishonestly named. It’s the National Party’s latest attempt to gut the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) by giving special exemptions to their traditional backers and fundraisers. It’s an attempt to force everyone who sees through National’s spin to give a multi-billion dollar subsidy to people who don’t give a stuff about the next generation of New Zealanders.
Climate change is a scientific fact. It’s not a philosophy, it’s not a political statement. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists around the world say our climate is dangerously changing and humans are contributing to that change. Those who deny the scientific reality are often uninformed, in the pocket of Big Pollution, or lost in the conspiratorial fringe twilight.
Or they’re National Party MPs.
The last Labour Government’s ETS was world leading, moderate, but broad-based. It was a model the rest of the world were looking to as a way to smooth the necessary transition to a low-carbon future. National have already destroyed most of the gains that were made, and today’s children will surely pay the price for their recklessness – just as we’re all paying for National’s recklessness in abolishing Labour’s superannuation scheme in the 1970s.
This latest National environmental vandalism puts New Zealand squarely in the group of climate science denying countries. It’s a 100% Pure Disgrace.
National’s support partner, the Māori Party, are refusing to back National’s latest attack on science, so John Key and his mates are relying on the single vote of Peter Dunne to wreck the Emissions Trading Scheme.
Labour wants the Bill withdrawn, of course. But, as National won’t do that, we’ve put forward amendments, including:
- Ensuring the ETS is an all-sectors all-gasses scheme, so everyone plays an equal part in the solution.
- Bringing agriculture into the ETS in 2015, as scheduled, so a huge advantage isn’t given to the minority of dirty farmers who’ve done nothing to prepare for this long-established deadline.
- Restricting international units to 50% so that New Zealand Units are preferred over international ones, thus protecting our forestry industry.
- Make the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) publish annually the amount industries charge their customers for carbon.
National aren’t having a bar of any of it. As I type National MPs are sitting in our Parliament cravenly doing the bidding of their funders in Big Pollution. They genuinely seem to think if they can only get this Bill through then climate change will be history!
When Labour comes to government we will put good science and innovation at the core of our environmental and economic policies. We will put in place policies that support a future that is clean, green and clever.