Heather du Plessis-Allan: Greta is right to call out our climate change record

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Mon, 14 Dec 2020, 4:16PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Greta is right to call out our climate change record

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Mon, 14 Dec 2020, 4:16PM

It’s really weird to find myself on the same side of an argument as Greta Thunberg, but here we are.

Neither of us are impressed with this government for its declaration of a climate change emergency.  

Greta’s tweet wasn’t really all that harsh. 

She just retweeted a link to a newsroom.co.nz story discussing how the declaration was little more than virtue signalling 

And then she quoted this bit: 

“The Government has just committed to reducing less than 1 percent of the country's emissions by 2025'."

But it’s awkward for the government, because both Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw have had to defend the government's record on climate change today.

And that’s after Saturday, where a climate summit was held and New Zealand was not allowed to participate because we aren’t apparently doing enough for the climate .

And this comes after the British high commissioner Laura Clark publicly criticised us only last month for the same thing saying  “There is also a gap between [New Zealand’s climate] ambition and reality”. 

So there’s a bit of a problem developing here between what this government says and what it actually does  

Now, I’m fairly confident when I say Greta and I would not agree about how big a priority climate change is for a country like New Zleanad that only contributes 0.17% of the global emissions and has other emergencies like child poverty to grapple with.

But what I like about the text is that it’s calling out this PR nonsense.

I like the fact that people are not being sucked in by this communications strategy, because that’s all the climate change emergency was. It was a PR move, to make Labour and the Greens look good.

It wasted time in parliament and it’ll achieve what… 1%.

I’m heartened that Labour and the Greens tried to sell us a story but that we all proved too smart and too savvy to be sucked in.