Futile protest against US climate stance

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis are visiting New Zealand briefly on Tuesday following their visit to Australia.

Stuff: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to New Zealand next week ‘a big deal’

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives in Wellington next week, in what’s being called a major show of American interest in the Asia-Pacific region and “big deal” for New Zealand.

Tillerson will meet Prime Minister Bill English and Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee in Wellington on Tuesday.

Brownlee said meetings would be held to discuss “some of the world’s most pressing issues and to further promote our economic ties”.

Observers said regional stability, counter-terrorism, and military commitments in Iraq and possibly Afghanistan would be discussed, as would trade issues including the afflicted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

This is the first major visit from the US since Donald Trump became president in January. The meeting will apparently be for about three hours so there isn’t much time to cover a lot of things.

Brownlee was interviewed on The Nation on Saturday and was asked what would be dealt with:

Well, given you’ve got a short window of opportunity, what’s going to be your number one priority for that meeting?

Well, look, a lot of that discussion will be organised over the next couple of days as we head towards that meeting, but we’ll obviously want to canvass trading relations. We’ll reaffirm the various commitments that we have internationally toward the defeat of terrorism. And I’d also expect that, given the current, or most recent, decision from the US, that there will be some discussion about relative positions on climate change. But in the end, it is the trading relationship but also the people-to-people relationship with the United States, including our involvement in the Antarctic, for example, that are pretty important to us.

Okay, well, on that note, the Prime Minister has expressed some concern that Washington might be a little bit distracted by Trump’s unpredictability and that the nature of that president may be distracting them from things like economic stability and trade and economic growth in the region. Are you going to raise that with Rex Tillerson?

I don’t think we’ll be raising the issues of US political stability. That’s something for the US, not for New Zealand, to comment on.

That was a silly question.

Well, Donald Trump said that he was keeping the faith with the people that had elected him when he pulled out of the Paris Accord this week. Was that the right decision – for him to pull the pin on that?

Well, I can’t comment on what was right or wrong for Mr Trump. What I can say is that the door has been left a little bit open about, perhaps, their rejoining. And I think when you consider that the Paris Agreement’s signed up to by 194 countries, 147 countries have ratified that agreement, and then, of course, the G7 most recently reaffirmed their position as far as climate change is concerned.

But the thing is the US pulling out of it—

So I think the door’s not totally closed.

But do you really think he’s going to come back into the fold on this?

Well, I’m not going to comment on that, because I think the situation domestically in the US is something for Mr Trump to deal with.

That’s correct, it is something for the US to deal with, they know we remain in the Paris Accord along with just about all the rest of the world but there’s just about nothing we can say that would impact on Trump’s decisions.

Both Tillerson and Mattis are on record as acknowledging the problems and risks associated with climate change so there’s not much we can say to them about it, and especially there’s unlikely to be anything we can say that would affect anything.

But the Greens want us to do more. James Shaw: PM must confront US with impact of climate decision

The Green Party is calling on the Prime Minister to invite Pacific Island ambassadors to meet with the US Secretary of State next week so they can explain first-hand the consequences of the US decision to withdraw from the Climate Agreement.

The call comes ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to New Zealand on Tuesday, and following the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Confronting Tillerson will be futile regarding the US withdrawal from the Paris Accord, and it would be likely to be counter productive to building a good relationship with Tillerson, Mattis and the US.

Andrew Little: English must give strong message to US Secretary of State on climate change

Prime Minister Bill English must voice New Zealand’s concerns in the strongest possible terms when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Wellington next week following President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

“This decision is a huge setback for the international efforts to turn back global warming. After years of negotiation, the Paris Accord marked a more hopeful approach to the whole issue of climate change with 195 nations signing up.

“Bill English must take a strong stand next week and ensure Rex Tillerson knows the damage that’s been caused to the international campaign by the USA’s withdrawal.

“We can’t now let the USA water down the Paris Accord. Mr Tillerson must be reminded that the world can only combat climate change together and that New Zealand stands shoulder-to-shoulder with other nations which have embraced the challenge.

We can’t ‘let’ the US do anything, they make their own decisions and we don’t get a say. We can’t stop the US from choosing to withdraw, that is their decision.

“Bill English must take a strong stand next week and ensure Rex Tillerson knows the damage that’s been caused to the international campaign by the USA’s withdrawal.

I’m sure Tillerson is already well aware of the potential consequences of Trump’s intention to withdraw the US. There’s nothing we can do apart from stress our continued commitment to the Paris Accord. There’s no stand we can take.

Anthony Robins takes Labour’s ‘stand’ thing further in Once upon a time:

Once upon a time this country stood up to America and said no to nuclear weapons. Now we dare not say yes to saving the planet.

There’s hardly anything similar about New Zealand’s popular anti-nuclear stand against the US. The US withdrawal from the Paris Accord is their decision and has virtually nothing to do with New Zealand.

We can disagree with Trump’s climate stance, but there’s little else we can do about their Paris Accord decision.

It is New Zealand’s choice whether to remain in the Paris Accord or not, and there is no indication our position on that will change – and the US doesn’t appear to be doing anything to try to make us change either.

34 Comments

  1. PDB

     /  June 4, 2017

    Paris agreement 101:

  2. To raise the question of the Paris Accord would be totally unproductive for New Zealand, a classic lose lose situation. Trump actually chose his words carefully when he said it was a bad deal for the US Taxpayer because of the unbalanced division of the costs of membership by states. It is also a bad deal for New Zealand taxpayers, because we have to pay far more than the per capita costs of industrialised countries other than the USA was going to pay.
    I agree the deal was bad for the US and agree with Trump’s intention to renegotiate a better more practical solution. Carbon Dioxide has been demonised as the cause of climate change by unscientific claptrap. The cause is the Sun.

  3. MaureenW

     /  June 7, 2017

    Finally, someone with the balls to jump off the Anthropogenic Climate Change stupid train.

    • Gezza

       /  June 7, 2017

      Yes. The Emperor. He thinks he’s wearing his new clothes. Nobody will tell him we can all see them.

      • MaureenW

         /  June 7, 2017

        I know you are anti-Trump G, but funny that the US didn’t sign up to the Kyoto Protocol either for the same reasons and not a Trump in sight.

        • Gezza

           /  June 7, 2017

          I’m not anti-Trump Maureen. I think he’s an often ignorant egomaniac. And I think he’s an American Supremacist. I think he’s making some mistakes, & he’s getting some things right. I think he is the duly elected President of the United States, for better or worse, until elections or impeachment do them part.

          When I think he’s right, I say so. For example I think he’s right on beefing up immigration control & better vetting & selection of immigrants. Also on deporting illegals. The NZ public would not counternance such high levels of illegsl entry here. I also think sanctuary cities need a smack. They are refusing to apply the sensible, legitimate law of the land & thus undermining their own law & law enforcement.

          When I think he’s wrong I say so. And his dealings with Saudis & Israel, and Qatar, are ham-fisted & likely to end in American tears. He is being played. He thinks he is playing them. Qatar is a Sunni Muslim country that thinks dialogue with Iran is appropriate & better than demonisation. It has the biggest & only American base in the Middle East. They have suddenly learned what happens when you let the US invade your country on the pretext of being a friend & providing security. And that the US can & will turn your own against you for its own purposes without even blinking.

          • patupaiarehe

             /  June 7, 2017

          • MaureenW

             /  June 7, 2017

            What about Climate Change?

            • Gezza

               /  June 7, 2017

              No thanks. I already have some. 😉

              He could have made the changes & reviews he trumpeted staying within the Agreement. This is about grandstanding & dominating. He even said playing by the rules doesn’t matter to him. All that matters is to be the winner. To be on top. He embodies The Ugly American. Obama embodied the liberal American milksop.

              I hope that the ructions Trump causes will be beneficial in the main for the majority of Americans who needed jobs, houses, health services & security. But the future under this President is murky. I hope they can eventually get it right.

            • MaureenW

               /  June 7, 2017

              Who plays by the rules G? Rules are for sparrows, not eagles.
              Name one country that plays by the rules that isn’t a socialist basket-case or fast becoming one?

            • Gezza

               /  June 7, 2017

              New Zealand.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 7, 2017

              I think you have to see the Paris disengagement as part of Trump’s bigger agenda to roll back the bureaucracy in the USA, particularly the flood of Obama regulations coming out of the EPA. By squashing the Paris Accord he has topped the centrepiece of environmental activism. It’s like driving ISIS out of their sources of power and finance in Iraq and Syria. He is seeking to weaken and demoralise his opposition.

            • MaureenW

               /  June 7, 2017

              Let me just warm up my singing voice … la, la, lahhh.
              “Gawd of nations at thiiiiy feet, in THE bonds OF luuuuv weeee meet ……
              New Zealand gets its orders from elsewhere. New Zealand is a sparrow – just ask NZ residents living in Australia about playing by the rules and how that’s working out for them.

            • Gezza

               /  June 7, 2017

              I think you’re a bit off-key Maureen. But it might be because I don’t understand what you’re singing?

            • MaureenW

               /  June 7, 2017

              Obviously didn’t warm up enough. May be you could give me a couple of twangs to get me in the right range?

            • patupaiarehe

               /  June 7, 2017

            • Gezza

               /  June 7, 2017

              @ Maureen

              Sorry. Sometimes I can resd between the lines & understand what is meant when it is seems cryptic to me. Other times not. It depends how much time I have spent studying what a particular poster says, or what they have been saying in the past on a psrticular topic. If you have elaborated on this in the past, I may not have been around or may not have noticed.

              “New Zealand gets its orders from elsewhere.”
              Where exactly? Just a question.

              “New Zealand is a sparrow”. Absolutely.

              ” – just ask NZ residents living in Australia about playing by the rules and how that’s working out for them.”

              Abou Climate Change? Or why they stay when they’re treated like shit? Australia is the arrogant vassal state of the US. What would the residents say? How does it relate to CC or what playing by the rules means, or what else they should do. I’m lost.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  June 7, 2017

              I wish that I had your tenacity G. If I were you, I would have given Maureen the tried & tested GFY an hour ago LOL

            • MaureenW

               /  June 7, 2017

              No, we were talking about playing by the rules and NZ was the only country you returned to my question as being a country that plays by the rules (but is a sparrow).
              Where do we take our orders from? Other than the Treaty of Waitangi, most NZ policies are rolled in from elsewhere. Both at National and Local Government levels. We are akin to a McDonalds that’s allowed to have its own Puha-Burger for a bit of local flavour, but much is cut and paste from UN/EU for Local Government, and probably the US for the corporatisation of assets and services. In my view.

            • Gezza

               /  June 7, 2017

              I don’t just come here to harass Sir Alan, swoon over Missy, laff at your memes, enjoy Kitty’s vignettes, joust with c, chuckle with Possum, & rark Corky up, patu. I don’t know everything. I wish I did. I’d make a billion consulting.

              I’m interested in what intelligent, thinking posters have to say, what they believe, how they see things, what they know, what evidence they have, why they think what they do. I read & think about what people say that resonates or challenges my own opinions. People here have changed my views at times & informed me on things I knew little of. That’s why I come – well, that also why I come. 😉

            • Gezza

               /  June 7, 2017

              @ Thank you Maureen. I want to think about what you’ve said. I know we have tended to maintain an indepedent foreign policy on some issues to Australia & our trade policies seem to be independent as well. I do think there is possibly too much influence by America in some areas of our international relations & maybe commerce, banking. I hadn’t seen us as being controlled much by the UN/EU – although now you’ve said it – I can think of things that support the UN influence.

              What would you like to see from our government instead of what we have?

            • patupaiarehe

               /  June 7, 2017

              Yes G, I know this. Sorry, I’ll leave you & Maureen alone… 😉

            • Gezza

               /  June 8, 2017

              @ patu

              Did I mention that I also don’t come here to get insulted by Blazer, but, you know, it happens, and as he said to me the other day, c’est la vie 😀

              Bed time for me too. If you’re still up, goodnight bro.

            • MaureenW

               /  June 8, 2017

              I would like to see NZ stay uniquely NZ.
              I would like to see housing return to being a form of shelter instead of a reality game of “property casino”.
              I would like a government that doesn’t bullshit about immigration, and serves the people who voted for it, instead of the self-serving bunch of arse-holes they are.
              I would like education to be meaningful and useful instead of the monetised bullshit courses that are forced upon people trying to gain academic qualifications in their chosen field.
              I would like to see Local Government serve their ratepayers with services they require instead of treating them like a bottomless- pocketed cash-cows for their fucked social engineering projects. I would like to see Local Government held accountable for where and how they spend your money.
              I would like to see a regeneration of the provinces and smaller cities by moving jobs there (do we all need to be squashed into Auckland).
              Efficient public transport systems that are suited to a city’s particular landscape (instead of forcing people out of cars via hiked parking fees or no parking, forthcoming tolls and city traffic bans) onto a laughably, inefficient PT system.
              The employment landscape is rapidly changing due to demand and opportunities available with technology. When many workers can work remotely from any location, why is is that the vast amount of NZ provinces and smaller cities are virtually barren wastelands of “retiring and dying centres” or home to to unemployed, unemployable and disenfranchised?
              NZ’s future to me, looks pretty hopeless in terms of what we are doing now to prepare for the social and employment changes that are just ahead. I have a lot of sympathy and empathy for today’s 20-year-olds- ask some what they think their future will look like in 10 or 20 years time?

            • Gezza

               /  June 8, 2017

              Wow. Plenty there for me to think about. So I will. Tomorrow. Thanks Maureen. Good night.