The Climate Change Commission expects it will be able to release the detailed models behind its draft emissions budget in June or July – after the public has a chance to provide feedback on this draft, and after the final version is presented to the Government in May.
Again this is outrageous and frankly is killing off any chance of bipartisan support for what the Commission recommends. The full model and data should be released at least four weeks before submissions close, not four months afterwards.
Right-wing think tank, The NZ Initiative, and the Major Electricity Users’ industry group, are among the critics of the Commission for not releasing all its modelling when it released its draft report on January 31.
Their argument is they need to understand the inputs and assumptions underpinning the Commission’s recommendations to provide well-informed feedback.
This is especially so, as the Commission itself has said the changes proposed are more significant than the economic reforms of the 1980s.
However, Commission CEO Jo Hendy told interest.co.nz it was “not critical” for stakeholders submitting on the advice to access its “modelling code and formulas”.
It is not for the Government quango to determine what is critical for stakeholders, it is for stakeholders. If they say they need the data to inform their submissions, then they should get it.
Much of this cost will of course fall on the Major Electricity Users’ Group’s members.
Yet its chairperson John Harbord told interest.co.nz, “Simply understanding the calculations – I don’t think there’s any self-interest in that. That’s just wanting to be informed…
“It’s very hard to form an opinion on a recommendation if you don’t know how they got there.”
If the modelling is robust enough for the Commission to use to make far-reaching recommendations, it should be robust enough for scrutiny, he said, noting the Commission had otherwise been very good to engage with.
So why won’t they release it? Is it because it wouldn’t survive 60 minutes of scrutiny?