So what can we do to put pressure on Groser to do the right thing by New Zealanders?
New Zealand will be on a world stage late this year, with the world’s eyes focused on what we do, as distinct from what we say.

Could that scrutiny be why Climate Change Minister Tim Groser last week issued a call for public submissions on our post–2020 climate change target?

climate-change-consultation

Frame shot taken from MfE’s consultation video

The world stage is the Paris meeting in December, to establish a new international climate change agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

That Convention required all countries to submit their carbon emission targets by 31st March.

The world’s three biggest emitters of carbon that caused climate change (US, China and the EU) submitted their’s.  So did some of the world’s most at-risk economies.

Our government did nothing and are only now getting around to public consultations.

If peer-pressure is what it takes to get this government to walk their talk, then let’s put more pressure on them.

To be fair, our government, are doing some things around carbon emissions.

We are funding around $10m annually in research for new agricultural mitigation technologies.

And the ‘Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform’ was established by New Zealand in 2010 to promote the gradual phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. However, a 2013 World Wildlife Fund report, records our government more than doubling fossil fuel subsidies over the period 2008/09 – 2012/13.

In October 2007 the Clarke Labour government introduced a 10-year moratorium on new power generation using fossil fuels. The Key National government quickly repealed the legislation in 2008. And as a consequence, our emissions have since climbed dramatically.

So what can we do to put pressure on Groser?

First is to become informed.

Read the discussion document which explains the main issues and describes New Zealand’s situation. It is available for download at mfe.govt.nz.

Watch a short video that describes the key things we need to consider when setting New Zealand’s post–2020 contribution to mitigating climate change.

Those resources reflect the government’s views. They are reasoned and reasonable.

So to ensure balance, watch the film “Hot Air” at http://www.hotairfilm.co.nz.

This award winning feature-length documentary informs us how the fact of climate inaction has, over nearly 25 years, been about the short-term interests of big business being accepted ahead of the interests of future generations.

It is an easy and compelling watch.

It helps us understand the extent of secret lobbying by big business and how that led to the manipulation of successive New Zealand Governments to avoid actually doing something.

Yes there are climate issues we face that make action more problematic for us. With more than 75% of our electricity generation coming from renewable sources, the opportunity for mitigations in are limited.  But not therefore, impossible. And with the greenhouse gas emissions by our agricultural sector being five times more significant than the world average, there will be an economic impact.

The second step in putting pressure on our government to do the right thing by us, is to make a submission before June 3rd.