Heather du Plessis-Allan: What is the point of declaring a climate emergency?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Nov 2020, 5:53PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: What is the point of declaring a climate emergency?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Nov 2020, 5:53PM

So, the climate emergency. 

I know that you’ll probably expect me to be critical of the Prime Minister’s plans to announce a climate emergency next week 

But I’m actually not going to criticise it.  

Because I can see why Jacinda Ardern is doing it. Jacinda, as we all know, has made a very big deal of the fact that she is a global climate warrior 

We all remember the time when she declared climate change is the nuclear free moment of her generation 

But of course, we all know she’s actually not done anything.

Her government passed the Zero Carbon Act which is nice but won’t do much.

They brought farmers into the ETS but at such a discounted rated that, again, won’t do much.

And her government has banned offshore oil and gas exploration which, again, sounds nice but will probably lead to us just importing the stuff and thus having a bigger footprint.

So what do you do if you want the world to think you’re a climate warrior but you don’t actually plan to do anything about the climate?

You declare a climate emergency.

Because you just have to say it, you don’t actually have to do anything. 

That’s what’s happened with the councils around the country. 

Just look at Dunedin City Council and Central Otago District Council. Both of them have declared climate emergencies but they are both among the least energy efficient councils in the country.

But it doesn’t really matter, because there are gullible voters up and down this country who probably vote Green and who will lap this up and forget to check back in a year to see if anything has really been done, and there are progressives around the world who will take note of this and be impressed. 

Now the thing is, here at Newstalk ZB Drive, we also see the value in pumping up our green credentials without having to do anything. 

So I hereby declare this a Newstalk ZB Drive climate emergency 

And I’d to welcome you to the first edition of the climate friendlier Drive show, and welcome to all our new green listeners.