Sunday 8 November 2009

What we need is a just transition to a low carbon economy

by Tane Feary
8 November 2009

Mining in national parks in New Zealand is one of the National Governments suggested "solutions" to the economic crises and New Zealand's place in the financial world. This is yet another example of short term profit and long term environmental destruction. Nick Smith, the New Zealand climate and environment minister talks about balancing economics and the environment, what he is really talking about is bank balances.

New Zealand plays on a brand and image of being a "clean and green" country, yet reality suggests otherwise. Dirty dairy from corporate agriculture companies, coal mining and energy, motorway expansion and a raft of industries are being given the go ahead as they are financially lucrative, and provide a fast buck, the long term cost is not factored in, neither is the environmental cost.

Creating pollution markets does not alter the unsustainable nature of an economy built to make economic growth and profit out of the destruction of ecosystems. Until economics has environmental and social considerations, big business will continue to profit from ecologically and socially destructive activities. A low carbon economy would provide what carbon pollution markets never can.

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