Monday, 22 February 2021

Climate Commission extension warranted

“It’s not good enough that three weeks after releasing its draft report the Climate Commission hasn’t been able to supply potential submitters with the models and underlying data it based its assumptions and recommendations on,” says ACT Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.

“Already the opportunity to submit on the proposals was severely restricted, with only six weeks allowed on the Commission’s suggested actions to reach net-zero by 2050.

“Submitters representing thousands of New Zealand businesses need to be able to thoroughly review and comment on the data and models the report is based on, but the Commission hasn’t been able to cough them up.

“That’s why last Friday 15 industry bodies wrote to the Commission asking for at least a two week extension to the March 14 deadline for submissions.

“Signatories include Business NZ, Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ, the Motor Industry Association, the Electricity Retailers Association and the Property Council.

“They said: ‘We believe that good process underpins good public policy, and a key aspect of good process is adequate time to respond, which should be in proportion to the significance of the proposals … Given the delay in the release of crucial modelling data (not all of which is out yet), at a minimum we seek a commensurate extension of at least two weeks for the submission deadline.’

“Why wasn’t the Commission ready to go with this important information underpinning its assumptions and suggestions?

“Its final advice to the Government will have a major impact on the future of New Zealand’s economy and society.

“ACT believes the Commission has no choice but to grant an extension if the submission process is to be meaningful and the public is to be brought on board with its eventual advice to the Government.”