Home > A Little Blue Marble Called Earth, The Body Politic > As predicted: National abandons climate-change responsibilities

As predicted: National abandons climate-change responsibilities



Continued from: National ditches environmental policies

As predicted eight days ago, National has abandoned all pretences at meeting our Kyoto Protocol obligations, and cutting back on air pollution,


Full story


As this blogger wrote on 1 November, John Key was adamant that National was committed to reducing greenhouse gases, and making environmental concerns a priority for his “government”,

What global Leaders know, and what the National Party knows, is that environmentalism and a commitment to economic growth must go hand in hand.  We should be wary of anyone who claims that one can or should come without the other.  And we should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.

In the years ahead it will be increasingly important that New Zealand marries its economic and environmental policies.  Global climate change awareness, resource shortages, and increasing intolerance of environmental degradation will give environmental policy renewed relevance on the world stage…

… And, in seeking the balance between environmental and economic goals, National will never forget that New Zealand’s outstanding physical environment is a key part of what makes our country special. Kiwis proudly value our forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans.  They are part of our history and they must continue to define our future.

Our environment isn’t just a bonus.  It’s part of being a Kiwi.  It underpins our enviable quality of life. It gives us an in-built edge over many of our economic rivals.  I’m thinking, for example, of what Australia would do for our abundant water resources.  And, increasingly, New Zealand’s environmental credentials will underpin our prosperity and our trade profile…

… One of National’s key goals, should we lead the next Government, will be to stem the flow of New Zealanders choosing to live and work overseas.  We want to make New Zealand an attractive place for our children and grandchildren to live – including those who are currently living in Australia, the UK, or elsewhere…

… Labour has talked big talk on the environment but all too often it has failed to deliver.  

• Labour promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% – but instead they have gone up by 20%.
• Labour promised a target of 90% renewable electricity by 2021 – but the actual proportion of renewables has sunk to an all-time low.
• Labour promised 250,000 hectares of additional trees by 2020 – but the past three years has seen the worst deforestation since records began…

Source:  John Key, Speech: Environment Policy Launch

Key was emphatic in demanding stronger environmental protections for our country,

I urge you to read our environment policy in full. But let me pick out some highlights.

First, this policy underlines National’s commitment to addressing global climate change.  We view this as the most serious environmental challenge of our time. 

National believes that New Zealand, as a responsible international citizen, and as a country that values our clean, green environment, must act to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This policy sets out our commitment to that goal.

National will set an achievable emissions reduction target for New Zealand.  We seek a 50% reduction in New Zealand’s carbon-equivalent net emissions, as compared to 1990 levels, by 2050.  50 by 50.  We will write the target into law.

National will also ensure New Zealand works on the world stage to support international efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.  We are committed to honouring our Kyoto Protocol obligations and we will work to achieve further global alliances that build on the goals agreed to at Kyoto.

Our approach to future international negotiations will be to work with fellow countries on finding a pragmatic way to include large emitters like China, the United States, India, and Brazil.  It’s clear that the absence of these large emitters from any post-Kyoto agreement would severely compromise global progress on this issue.

In order to achieve domestic emission reduction, National will pursue sound, practical environmental policies.  We want to reduce emissions in ways that result in least cost to society and the economy.

To that end, we consider a well-designed, carefully balanced emissions trading scheme (ETS) to be the best tool available for efficiently reducing emissions across the economy.

Source:  Ibid

Up until April/May 2010, Key maintained National’s supportive position on the ETS,

I’d say it’s unlikely it would be amended.”

But as New Zealanders have now come to expect, what National sez – and what National does, are often two completely different things.

If one was sufficiently uncharitable, one could say that National was highly dishonest as it back-tracked on it’s committments. But seeing as this blogger is not uncharitable, let’s just call them lying bastards and settle at that.

By  November 2011 Environment Minister Nick Smith announced,

… It is not in New Zealand’s interests to include agricultural emissions in the ETS yet.

And true to word, in August of this year,  National introduced legislation to remove agriculture and the egg industry from the ETS, entirely.

By October of this year, National had scrapped five yearly State of the Environment Reports, despite John Key having endorsed it in September 2008.

See: National scraps crucial environmental report

Today, National completed what can only be deemed as a covert policy to repudiate the ETS and our committments to Kyoto. As Climate Change Minister Tim Groser said,

“The Government has decided that from 1 January 2013 New Zealand will be aligning its climate change efforts with developed and developing countries which collectively are responsible for 85% of global emissions. This includes the United States, Japan, China, India, Canada, Brazil, Russia and many other major economies.”

See: New Zealand Commits to UN Framework Convention

Which is an outrageous admission from a National minister, and makes a mockery of  Key’s fuzzy-wuzzy words just four years ago.

Groser went on to state,

 “I want to emphasise that NZ stands 100% behind its existing Kyoto Protocol Commitment. We are on track to achieving our target – indeed we are forecasting a projected surplus of 23.1 million tonnes. Furthermore, we will remain full members of the Kyoto Protocol. There is no question of withdrawing. The issue was always different: where would we take our next commitment – under the Kyoto Protocol or under the Convention with the large majority of economies? We have decided that it is New Zealand’s best interests to do the latter.

If  New Zealand was “on track to achieving our target – indeed we are forecasting a projected surplus of 23.1 million tonnes” – then why withdraw from the Second Kyoto Protocols?

This makes no sense unless National is continuing to bullshit the public.

This is another broken pledge from John Key, and a failure by National to meet it’s own committments.

Key and National will be held to account at the next election. Broken promises are not a sound basis on which to base an election campaign.



Full story


National’s media release is headed, “New Zealand Commits to UN Framework Convention” – as if National was undertaking meaningful committments to environmental protection.

It is a laughable attempt to ‘spin’ National’s broken committments in a positive light.

The truly offensive thing here is not that John Key’s credibility is now shot to hell; nor that National has shown itself to be utterly untrustworthy – but that the Nat’s Party (taxpayer funded) spin-doctors thought that the public was so stupid that we wouldn’t notice.

All they’ve done is drawn more attention to their lies, broken promises, and secret agendas.






Government shuns second Kyoto committment

New Zealand Commits to UN Framework Convention


Fairfax Media: AgResearch stalls ‘damaging’ report

Radiolive: Nats are sacrificing our environment… for what?

Other blogs

Tumeke: John Key’s invisible New Zealand

Truthdig: The Fallacy Behind Environmental Protection and Economic Growth



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  1. Matthew
    9 November 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Another piss poor decision from National. They really are just shit.

    • 9 November 2012 at 8:44 pm

      On the positive side, Matthew, you’ll luv this…

      We heard today that some aquaintances of ours were firm National and John Key supporters… up till two weeks ago. They’ve now had a gutsful of John Key and neither will be voting National again.

      This is interesting; they are an upper middle class family; him a professional/tradesman; her an artist/entrepreneur-type. An affluent family, with his niche home-improvement business doing quite well.

      If a National-leaning couple like this can call it quits, then National is in deep trouble.

      I think this is what the Nats have missed: many New Zealanders may not want “nanny state” in their lives – but when things go ka-ka, they expect the government to do something.

      National has missed this vital aspect of the Kiwi psyche.

  2. Recluse
    10 November 2012 at 11:44 am

    National lead NZ now 100% Pure BS.

  3. 10 November 2012 at 11:57 am

    I am going out on a limb here but I do have a problem with “cap and trade”. Cap yes but trade no which is a license to keep on polluting with the public paying the polluters in the long term. Not enough is going into research for alternative energy sources and this will continue until we slam on the brakes with “No Trade” being the incentive for the fossil fuel industries to have to pay until it hurts. As for John ” Ignorant as Bird-Shit” Key”, (to use his style of eloquence) he would have squirm out of doing something positive for the environment , after all he takes his orders from Uncle Sam and the TPP now in full swing, with US now on board, it would be detrimental for their emerging “fracking” industry if we started getting uppity about their future exporting of oil and natural gas via trade agreements. Just a thought.

  1. 13 November 2012 at 1:21 pm
  2. 22 January 2013 at 11:05 am
  3. 27 April 2016 at 11:06 pm
  4. 28 April 2016 at 10:41 am
  5. 3 May 2016 at 8:01 am
  6. 5 August 2016 at 8:02 am
  7. 22 May 2018 at 8:03 am

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