Jacinda Ardern is moving a motion today in the House declaring climate change an emergency. It is more of the usual empty gesture to show one cares about an issue, as a substitute for actually doing something that would reduce emissions (which requires actual policy decisions with painful tradeoffs that might be unpopular).
Here’s Labour’s record to date:
- Promised 100% renewable electricity by 2030. In fact renewable share has dropped from 83.4% in Sep 2017 to 82.2% in Jun 2020.
- Promised to complete light rail (hence reducing traffic emissions to Mt Roskill by 2021. Nothing has occurred except the Auditor-General slamming the process.
- Promised the entire Government fleet would be electric or emissions free by 2025. As at Sep 2020, had managed just 0.9%
- Promised to fund one billion trees, to reduce net emissions. After three years have funded just 3.7% of the one billion trees.
- Promised to reduce net emissions to zero by 2050. However they are projecting an increase in net emissions from 55,000 to 70,000 kt from 2017 to 2023.
So rather than actually implement any of their promises that would reduce emissions, they are now passing a motion declaring it is an emergency.
They may even announce some new policy today, but as we know they are very good at announcing things and very bad at implementing them.