“James Shaw has once again shown that his Government is more focussed on platitudes than progress when it comes to climate policy,” says ACT’s Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.

“When asked in Parliament for examples of how the $82 million allocated to Supporting Producers and Māori Entities Transition to a Low Emissions Future ($35 million), Māori Climate Action ($31 million) and an Equitable Transitions Programme ($16 million) would practically lead to lower emissions, the only examples Climate Minister James Shaw could provide was putting solar panels on the roofs of marae and learning from the Māori land collective ownership model.

“The Government’s policy on climate appears to be to spend unlimited amounts of money on virtue signalling. The actual impact on emissions is a secondary consideration.

“At a time when Kiwis are grappling with a cost of living crisis largely caused by the Government’s reckless spending, that is just insane.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear ACT is the credible party on climate change, with policies based on realistic targets, sound science and economics instead of fanciful targets and expensive, ineffective bureaucratic solutions.

“Even James Shaw admitted our policy to stop the Government profiteering off higher carbon prices by giving it back to Kiwis with a Carbon Tax Refund of $250 per person was a good idea, but his Cabinet wouldn’t see sense.

“ACT proposes a realistic, no-nonsense climate change policy that matches our efforts with our trading partners’ with minimal bureaucracy. We should set a cap on total emissions in line with the actual reductions of our trading partners, then allow New Zealanders to import high quality foreign carbon credits so we pay the world price, not an artificial price.

“This Government is only concerned about appearance of environmental progress rather than actual progress. ACT stands for real change in our climate policy, ensuring it is practical, effective, and not going to make life harder for New Zealanders.”