Climate excuses just more hot air

Climate Change Minister James Shaw stating that the Emissions Reduction Plan is to be aligned with Budget 2022 is just more hot air, says National’s Climate Change spokesperson Stuart Smith.

“James Shaw is making a habit of missing his own deadlines on climate change.

“New Zealand has seen the Climate Commission advice delayed due to the first lockdown, New Zealand missed the 2020 deadline for updating its Paris Target, and now the Minister is missing his own deadline to set a Emissions Reduction Plan.

“It’s easy to stand up in Parliament and declare an emergency. Meanwhile, New Zealand is burning more coal and our emissions are rising under Labour and James Shaw.

“The Emissions Reduction Plan really doesn’t need to be aligned with Budget 2022.

“It should set a strategic direction for the period 2022-2035.

“This is about showing how our targets can be achieved, not setting a blueprint for the economy.

“Most of this we know. We should continue the bipartisan consensus that the capped Emissions Trading Scheme will deliver most of our reductions. We have the He Waka Eke Noa programme in the agricultural sector.

“None of this needs to wait until Budget 2022. If it did, the original legislation would have allowed for this.

“My strong message to James Shaw is to not turn this process into a plan for Government micro-management of the economy, from banning barbeques to taxing illegitimate cars and telling people how to live.

“Such a plan would be laughable from this Government, the plan for the cycle bridge was cancelled after three months. The plan for light rail is still stuck at the station four years on. The plan for electricity has seen coal use balloon.

“The draft should have been released months ago, giving businesses more time, rather than blaming the pandemic for the Government’s inability to deliver.

“I encourage Minister Shaw to stop the ribbon-cutting and the headlines, and instead get to work on delivering this on time.”