Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Green New Zealand has disappointed activists, by ditching climate idealism in favour of trying to restart their economy.
New Zealand’s COVID-19 budget delivers on one crisis, but largely leaves climate change for another day
Under the circumstances, the budget’s short-term vision is not surprising. It is even morally necessary. Climate change is ultimately about people’s welfare too – which needs defending in the present as well as the future.
Still, as time passes and the emphasis shifts from response to recovery to rebuild, long-term objectives like climate change should re-enter the picture. Back in December 2019 – before COVID-19 hit – a just transition to a low-emissions economy had been identified as one of the 2020 budget’s five priorities. For now, it has clearly taken a backseat, but New Zealand should return to it as part of the rebuild because of its economic promise.
A notable study led by Oxford University economist Cameron Hepburn argued climate-aligned fiscal recovery packages could not only help shift the world closer to a net-zero emissions pathway, but could also offer the best economic returns for government spending.
Those returns are precisely what governments need to service the debt they’re incurring now.
…Read more: https://theconversation.com/new-zealands-covid-19-budget-delivers-on-one-crisis-but-largely-leaves-climate-change-for-another-day-138524
I’m surprised, I honestly thought New Zealand’s government would embrace activist calls for a green Coronavirus recovery. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is right out there with Canada’s Trudeau when it comes to green speak.