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March 26, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Partisan Hacks – Science

Salient asked: “Is New Zealand doing enough to combat climate change?” The Hacks respond…

Vic Labour – Reed Flemming

The National government has failed at keeping New Zealand on a path toward reaching reductions in emissions by diluting the Emissions Trading Scheme set up by Labour. National clearly has no interest in reducing emissions in favour of protecting farmers and businesses who trash our atmosphere, rivers, lakes and seas. Appointing Nick Smith as Environment Minister is testament to how little the Government cares. Labour is committed to a greener, smarter, richer economy through increasing clean, high tech exports— without harming the environment.

NZ First – Amy Hodgkinson

A NZ First founding principle is that “Wise Governments view the preservation and enhancement of the environment as sound economics”. As a country, we need to understand the importance of climate change. Whether a believer or a skeptic, what will matter to New Zealand as an export-dependent nation is how the world sees us on this issue and what our international customers and market perceptions are of New Zealand. That means that an irrational response to international concerns could cost New Zealand dearly. A climate change priority should be to reduce coal use and substitute alternative sustainable fuels.

ACT On Campus – Michael Warren

Recent scientific studies have raised serious doubts about the extent and causation of climate change. There has been no material temperature increase during the 21st century, and a period of suspension will allow us to observe whether global warming resumes, as expressed by certain computer models. Therefore, it would be prudent not to impose more taxation or regulation on New Zealanders in a misguided attempt to reduce climate change.

Greens@Vic – Harriet Farquar

New Zealand is failing to be a responsible global citizen. Our total greenhouse gas emissions have risen 19 per cent since Kyoto. Our per capita emissions are amongst the worst in the OECD. What has our response amounted to? An Emissions Trading Scheme, which will achieve a decrease in emissions of less than 1 per cent; and now, government policy which actively encourages new fossil fuel developments, like lignite coal mining. It’s time we started taking action. Serious action.

Vic Nats – Haley Mortimer

Our environment is a valuable resource for every New Zealander; through our international reputation, tourism market and economy. Climate change threatens this. The continuing improvement of domestic policy, in line with international policy, aims to heighten this and aid transition to a low-carbon economy. Instead of asking what the state can do to combat climate change, we all should ask, “what can we do for the environment?”



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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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