Lots of rhetoric so far, but few actual policies.
Ardern said New Zealand had to be a responsible member of the international community and a responsible neighbour.
Just because New Zealand’s carbon emissions accounted for about 1 per cent of the global total, that did not diminish the country’s responsibility.
We’re not 1% of greenhouse gas emissions. We’re 0.17%. If we were 1% we’d be the 16th largest emitter. We’re in 60th place. That is a huge difference.
Also Ardern said carbon emissions. That is a sub-set of greenhouse gas emissions. I assume she meant greenhouse gas emissions but if she didn’t then we’re even lower. We’re at 0.09% and in 71st place.
Ardern also talked briefly of the Government’s policies specifically related to climate change – including the target of net-zero carbon by 2050, planting 1 billion trees over 10 years, 100 per cent renewable energy by 2035 and transitioning to a zero-emissions government vehicle fleet.
Here’s the problem. Those three policies will have a small impact on our level of net emissions. They’re cosmetically attractive but not substantive in terms of that target.