Sunday, 5 July 2009

Get along to the government's "consultation" meetings on climate change

The government is holding a series of meetings around the country over the next few weeks for the purpose of "consulting" New Zealanders about its greenhouse gas emissions target, which will be taken to the UN meeting on Climate Change at Copenhagen in December. The government's target is 50% reduction (on 1990 levels) by 2050, a target that if universally adopted worldwide would be too late to prevent catastrophic climate change. The lack of any real consultation on this target is steamrolling over the democratic rights of Kiwis deeply worried at the prospect of runaway global warming. The Aotearoa 350 group (part of an international movement) proposes much faster action. They're advocating a target of 40% reduction (on 1990 levels) by 2020. They've produced an excellent video clip (see below). The government would like its consultation meetings to go by without much attention. So that it can be free to present its weak target (an excuse for inaction) at Copenhagen. 350 and other climate activists are planning to be at the public meetings to protest the government's inaction. The more the better. People will be given the chance to speak at the meetings. Public meeting times and venues: Wellington, Oceania Room, Te Papa Mon 6 July, 7.30pm-9pm Auckland, Princess Ballroom B and C, Hotel Hyatt Regency Tues 7 July, 7.30pm-9pm Christchurch, Convention Centre, Hall C Wed 8 July, 7.30pm-9pm Dunedin, Clifford Skeggs Gallery, Dunedin Civic Centre Thurs 9 July, 7.30pm-9pm Queenstown, Icon Room, Heritage Hotel Fri 10 July, 7.30pm-9pm Hamilton, Waikato Room, SkyCity Mon 13 July, 7.30pm-9pm New Plymouth, Conference Room, Plymouth International Tues 14 July, 7.30pm-9pm Napier, Ocean Suite, East Pier, Hardinge Road Wed 15 July, 7.30pm-9pm Nelson, Waimea Room, Rutherford Hotel, Trafalgar Sqr Fri 17 July, 7.30pm-9pm See also New climate change group: 350 New Zealand

1 comment:

Pinko said...

There was a fullhouse of about 200 people at the Christchurch meeting on Wednesday night. Nick Smith played his part well. He said yes, the Government knew climate change was a serious threat, and yes they had to take action, but they didn't want to set an emissions reduction target that was too high. His reasons? 1. Setting a high target that couldn't be met would make NZ look bad. 2. If NZ set a target higher than other countries we would increase costs and "export jobs". 3. We had to weight the costs of emissions reductions with the costs to the economy and the standard of living of ordinary NZers. Smith was adimant that the costs would be passed on to the people in the form of higher power bills and petrol, etc. This is how emissions trading works.