The PM has said:
If the emissions trading scheme did not pass into law, the Prime Minister said she would make it a “major election issue”.
Now if I were the Greens, I’d be thinking about why on Earth they would possibly want to remove the biggest most important issue as an election issue? They are hovering just above 5%, and are about to take away their biggest issue and basically portray themselves as no different to Labour. Have they thought about the message it gives to Green supporters? It is, vote for us and achieve the same as voting for Labour on the most important environmental issue of our lifetime?
Clark does not want climate change as a major election issue. Her record on emissions is so hollow, Nicky Hager could turn it into a sequel. Emissions under Helen Clark have grown faster (in relative terms) than under George W Bush or John Howard, The last thing she wants is climate change as an issue. National will quietly probably be quite glad if the Greens back it, and it goes through. So it will be good for Labour and National, and bad for the Greens politically.
Have the Greens considered what they could grow their vote to, if they said the ETS doesn’t achieve enough, and we won’t back it. They could campaign on Labour’s disasterous record with carbon emissions, how National would be little different and only a vote for the Greens will make a difference on climate change. With a good campaign manager they could get 10% of the vote I reckon.
Toad makes similiar points of g.blog. I’d also point out that under Labour’s ETS no major emitting sector comes in until 2011 anyway, so a year’s delay in the legislation is not the same as a year’s delay in a sector coming into an ETS.
My advice enough is not Trojan Horse advice – it is the advice I would give the Greens if I was their campaign manager. I don’t actually have a strong concern about the differences between the desired Greens ETS, Labour’s ETS and a National ETS. The ETS is a very long term game, and I don’t get too excited over a year’s delay or not for a sector. NZ’s actual impact on carbon emissions is close to zero. We need an ETS so we do our part as a good global citizen, and so we do not get affected by environmental trade barriers. But let us not think that transport coming into the ETS in 2009 or 2011 will affect global temperatures at all.