National ‘resetting approach’, moving more to climate change mitigation

The National Party is moving more towards climate change mitigation, but sounds caution on moving too far or too fast. Leader Simon Bridges has challenged the party on “resetting our approach to environmental issues”.

Climate report reinforces need for careful transition – National Party Spokesperson for Climate Change Todd Muller…

…welcomes the release of the draft report released by the Productivity Commission today but is warning of the risks of going too far too fast.

“The report calls for careful preparation and balance as we transition to a low emissions economy,” Mr Muller says.

“We have to reduce emissions significantly to meet our international obligations, but it’s important that we transition in a way that maximises opportunity and minimises costs.

“It is also important to adjust at the pace of available technology and remain conscious of our competitors and the wider global response. For instance, bringing agriculture into the ETS would make us the only country in the world to expose our industry in this way, making us outliers, not leaders.

“Going too far too fast could decimate our most productive sectors, costing jobs and actually increasing global emissions. Introducing agriculture to the scheme at the very entry level of 90% free allocation and $50 a tonne would cost the agricultural sector $190 million a year.

“The more extreme estimates of carbon prices of $250 a tonne and no free allocation would cost the agricultural sector $9.7 billion a year and wipe out the entire industry.

“My concern is that if we push too hard and fast here, we could leave communities behind. The National Party will support the careful preparation and balance needed to ensure a just transition to a lower carbon economy.”

Stuff: National Party ‘resetting our approach to environmental issues’ – Bridges

National leader Simon Bridges has pledged his party will have a strong environmental focus with a broadchurch approach to thinking.

However, he says the Government’s announcement to halt deep sea oil exploration is “perverse”.

Alongside Bridges, there were people from Greenpeace, Forest and Bird and Oil and gas and former Green Party MP Kennedy Graham addressing the 100 strong crowd at the annual Bluegreens Forum in Darfield, Canterbury, on Saturday.

Bridges challenged his party, staff and supporters with “resetting our approach to environmental issues”.

He said a strong economy, education, healthcare and social services were not worthwhile “if we’ve ruined the environment”.

“Good environmental practice is crucial for securing the type of future we want for our children and grandchildren.

“My view is that people aren’t used to hearing a National Party leader talk like this, but I’ve said right from the start that the environment is important to me and the National Party … The environment isn’t an optional extra.”

Bridges was “proud” of the work the previous government achieved during its nine years, introducing an emissions trading scheme, Predator Free NZ and the Environmental Reporting Act, but a continued and ramped-up effort was needed.

“Climate change is going to be one of the most challenging issues of our time. We’ve made some good progress in recent years, but we need to do much more,” he said.

“We now need to wrestle emissions down, just staying stable doesn’t cut it … We need to incentivise households, businesses, scientists and entrepreneurs to be developing and implementing technological solutions.”

The Bluegreens, National’s environmental arm, has operated for 20 years since being formed and represented by just a few party members, including former Environment Minister Nick Smith.

Forty-six of its 55 MPs were now signed on.

All the main parties in Parliament support measures to mitigate the possible effects of climate change, with the possible exception of a vague Seymour and ACT.


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 29, 2018

    Mitigating the effects of climate change will be largely heading off idiotic alarmist-inspired policies for the foreseeable future.

    Bridges doesn’t inspire much expectation of more than tactical manoeuvring.

  2. Griff

     /  April 29, 2018

    Bridges was “proud” of the work the previous government achieved during its nine years, introducing an emissions trading scheme,

    The NZ ETS was first legislated in the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2008 in September 2008 under the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand
    National gutted the ETS.
    Allowed cheap and questionable eastern European credits and gave NZ emitting industry’s a deal that effectively paid them to produce carbon.

    However, he says the Government’s announcement to halt deep sea oil exploration is “perverse”.

    lying is perverse
    The Goverment have stopped issuing new permit areas they have not stopped exploration of existing permits or halted deep sea oil exploration .

    Nothing new.
    Just green washing and more sitting on hands for as long as possible like the last nine years of national did.

  3. Zedd

     /  April 29, 2018

    Natl are now taking climate change seriously.. ha ha
    just political rhetoric.. 9 LOOOOOOONG years of effectively ignoring it & now in opposition.. it is suddenly an issue to finally look into.. yer right !
    ‘Bluegreens’ is anathema.. all talk but no action; ALL hui, but NO dui 😦

  1. National ‘resetting approach’, moving more to climate change mitigation — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition