A very insightful column by John Armstrong. He looks at the PM’s talk of NZ becoming carbon-neutral and truly sustainable, and how well they went down.
But he says it will be very hard to match the whetoric with action:
“Carbon neutrality” is a leap of gargantuan proportions. It would require that for every bit of carbon dioxide that ends up as greenhouse gas, an equivalent amount is extracted from the atmosphere and absorbed or buried.
That goes way beyond the Kyoto Protocol, which requires New Zealand to cut emissions by 2012 back to the net amount being pumped into the atmosphere in 1990. So much for that target. Emissions are instead running at more than 20 per cent above 1990 levels – and they are growing. Even the Greens shy away from “carbon neutrality”, preferring to set a goal of reducing net emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 or so years.
And he recalls a recent quote by the PM:
After all, is this the same Prime Minister who, as the hydro storage lakes were emptying back in March, told Parliament that if it came down to a choice between New Zealanders going without power and having a coal-fired power station to give it to them, “I know what I am going to choose”?