Global agreement has been reached that the world’s temperature increase must be limited to 2 degrees C to avoid major catastrophe.
To achieve this, global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by around 80% by 2050. Yet our Government has failed to show leadership.
- NZ’s emissions have increased by about 25% since 1990 (the date against which Kyoto committments are measured), and the government’s own forecasts say they will keep increasing until at least 2030.
- The Emissions Trading Scheme, NZ’s main step so far to control emissions, is almost completely ineffective. It’s supposed to discourage unnecessary emissions by imposing a cost, originally planned at $25/tonne of CO2. Currently, companies pay as little as 15 cents — unless they’re given emission units for free.
Should We Be Worried?
The current government’s position is that we contribute only 0.2% of global emissions. Well, if you contribute less than 0.2% of national tax revenue, should you bother paying tax?
Climate change will affect all of us — and on a per-capita basis, NZ has some of the highest emissions in the developed world.