Herald Editorial Makes Same Mistake

Because the NZ Herald does not arrive most mornings in Wellington until mid-morning nowadays, we are sometimes (when we don’t have time to read the electronic version) a bit behind the times.  If we had read it first things we would have drawn attention to the fact that the Herald editorial makes exactly the same mistake as Vernon Small.

Look, business groups such as ours are well aware of the fact that we have to act on climate change.  We have been fighting hard for the past four years to achieve a consensus between Labour and National on the issue so that fringe groups such as the Greens at one end and ACT at the other do not have the influence they currently have on policy formulation.  We want a credible response and we want one that is going to be durable.  Policy uncertainty will deter investment.

The new Government knows this.  Inaction is not an option.

The problem with the last Government was that it chose not to listen to good advice on this issue and it chose to reject the offers of a consensus.  We can only guess that they did this because they somehow thought there was going to be electoral advantage in making this a partisan issue.

We have to have a policy in place by the end of next year otherwise we will be playing into the hands of those who, in Europe and elsewhere, are seeking to use climate change as an excuse for protectionist policy.  But we can’t leave the current policy in place.  It is bad policy that will impact very negatively on the economy.  Even some European Governments agree with us.  They are worried that the policy is too ambitious and that if we don’t change it we risk rendering some sectors in our economy non-competitive.  This will complicate the global process.  In our submissions to the select committee on the ETS we made this point and we made it constantly in our lobbying efforts.  The Government of the day chose to ignore us.  We really think that the New Zealand media should be doing more sophisticated analysis in this space.

We are confident that a robust scheme can be in place by the end of this year that will do the right thing for the environment and not leave our economy in tatters.  This will serve as a positive role model to the rest of the world.  Instead on unimformed sniping lets get behind the Government and get such a scheme implemented.


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One Response to “Herald Editorial Makes Same Mistake”

  1. Max Ritchie Says:

    The review negotiated by Rodney Hide will give us all an opportunty to debate this issue and come up with an appropriate response, not the half-baked disaster Labour wanted. Hide does not belive that human activity is causing climate change; that is his prerogative but he will not be making the decision – his review simply (and correctly) allows a review of the science without the hysteria and bias of the IPCC etc. Somewhere in all the clamour is an answer and this review is New Zealand’s opportunity to find it.

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