On what the Government should be doing to deal with climate change
Zane McCarthy thinks that the current government does not see climate change as a serious threat to the planet, to our country, and to our society. The problem is that climate change does not seem to affect people in their day to day lives. There is no incentive for them to change behaviour and demand others to change their behaviour. However, if we wait for such a time when people do notice the effects of climate change, it will likely be too late.
There is also the attitude in New Zealand that other countries should be taking the lead on climate change because their greenhouse gas emissions are far greater. McCarthy believes that taking greater action on climate change could provide New Zealand with an opportunity to live up to our 100% pure brand and become leaders in the fight against climate change.
On the Emissions Trading Scheme
The current ETS is not effective. It is putting the burden on the taxpayer, rather than the polluter. A far more effective way of doing things would be to put a tax on greenhouse gas emissions. That way the market is not left to decide how much they value our planet. The Government, selected by the people, is the one who puts the value of our planet on the emitters. In terms of improving the ETS, the Green Party would set a domestic cap on emissions, link New Zealand’s ETS to overseas carbon markets, and ensure that the taxpayer’s liability in 2012 is covered by emitters as quickly as possible.
On fossil fuels and renewable energy
McCarthy is strongly opposed to the expansion of fossil fuel industries in New Zealand. Rather than scraping the bottom of the barrel, looking for dirty fossil fuel deposits and risking catastrophic environmental impacts, we should be looking into alternatives. McCarthy would support funding and investment in research and development of clean environmentally friendly energy production. He would support the moratorium on new coal and lignite developments. Coal is not the way of the future.
McCarthy believes that clean renewable energy is the way of the future. He recently visited the clean energy centre in Taupō where he was informed of the potential for research- the land between the lake and White Island could provide the best possible conditions anywhere in the world for clean energy research and development. McCarthy thinks that we need to be putting money into these ideas and methods in order to perfect them and export these ideas across the globe. We need to move away from our desire to drive everywhere in cars and instead use public transport.
McCarthy supports the call for Government to create an action plan to attain 100% renewable energy before 2050. Green Party policy hopes to achieve fully renewable electricity generation by 2030, except for dry winter emergency supply.
On Government support for research and development of green technologies in New Zealand
McCarthy believes that there should be more support for research and development in reducing emissions coming from agriculture.
On public transport and new roads
McCarthy agrees that New Zealand’s dependence on oil is a risk to our economy. The current Government’s obsession with roads is short-sighted. The Government is pouring money into roads in order to get cars to places faster, but soon oil prices will be at such a level that people will not be able to afford to use these roads and they cannot afford the fuel. McCarthy thinks that funding could go so much further if it were invested in public transport. He would support the development of an inner city rail loop for Auckland.
On reducing our emissions as a community
McCarthy would advocate for putting greater price signals on carbon. If there was a price tag on emissions from carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases then people would pay attention to the effects that these gases have on the planet. With the help of greater education on climate change, improved price signals will increase people’s understanding of the impacts of their behaviour on the planet.
McCarthy thinks that the most effective way young people can influence Government policy is to vote on November 26th; for a party that treasures our planet for the fantastic place it is. They could also organise demonstrations or join a group that advocates for action on climate change. Generation Zero has done fantastic job in creating spectacles that people pay attention to. Young people could also write to their local MPs demanding they take climate change seriously and urge them to do something about it. They could educate their friends and family on climate change. As a young New Zealander, McCarthy believes that his generation should become the generation that makes the difference: “because we might be the last generation that is able to.”
I support increased Government investment in transitioning to a zero carbon economy.
I would advocate for strengthening the ETS to make it more equitable and effective.
I believe lignite and currently undeveloped coal reserves should be left in the ground.
I believe renewable energy is our future and Government should plan for 100% renewable energy by 2050.
I support increased national spending on low-carbon and public transport initiatives.
As an elected MP, I would actively engage with my electorate on climate change.
I believe the Government should set a strategic direction for our country to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.