Feedback sought on climate policies, campaigners call it 'meaningless waffle'

Anna Whyte
Source: 1 NEWS

The Government is asking the public again for its view on policy ideas to pull down emissions and set the longterm plan for climate action - a move which campaigners are already labelling as "hot air" and "bulls**t". 

Toned monchrome image with billowing smoke coming from two chimneys.  Please note that limited film grain has been added during image processing.

Greenpeace said the Emissions Reduction Plan discussion document was "full of meaningless waffle that won’t turn the tide on an accelerating climate crisis". 

It said the proposals "does little to broach the conversation on reducing agricultural emissions".

The Emissions Reduction Plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across energy, transport, waste, agriculture, construction and financial services. 

Its policy proposals on agriculture included 'accelerating the development of mitigations through a research and development plan' and 'improving the delivery of extension services'.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said they wanted to prioritise ideas "that save people money, like cleaner energy that leads to lower power bills".

"Today’s discussion document gives New Zealanders the chance to say what policies they want in order to reach our climate targets."

The Climate Change Commission already consulted on policy ideas , but the Government said it did not consult "on all the steps the Government needs to take in the design of these measures". 

The new strategies and policies included integrating emissions reduction into land-use planning, improving and dropping the price of public transport, bringing in congestion pricing, focusing on reducing food waste going to landfill and introducing transport targets. 

Those targets included pulling down the distance travelled in cars by 20 per cent by giving people other travel options, increase the zero emissions vehicle fleet by 30 per cent and reducing freight emissions by a quarter - all by 2035. 

It also wanted feedback on regulating high-global warming refrigerants and determining the role of forestry in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said they also wanted ideas around new policy "that could be included in the plan, as well as how the Government can help to ensure that the choices we all have to make every day... help to achieve our climate targets". 

"The plan we release next year will need to set out future policy and regulatory change, as well as actions that can be taken by businesses, towns and cities, and every community.

"It will also set out how we make the transition in an inclusive and equitable way."