“The Climate Change Commission’s latest batch of recommendations will cost the country immensely without reducing emissions one bit. This is what ACT warned about when we were the only party to vote against the Zero Carbon Bill,” says ACT’s Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.

“The rest of Parliament signed up to reduction targets without a plan to get there. The result? A new bureaucracy proposing policies that are more about social engineering than emissions reduction.

“If the Government wants to take climate change seriously, all it needs to do is announce that emissions under the ETS would be capped at the same level as our trading partners. That would meet our climate commitments and allow consumers to choose how they limit their emissions. If you emit less, you keep more of your own money.

“After all, the climate doesn’t care which country emissions come from, just the overall quantity.

“Instead, the Government has chosen the most expensive and bureaucratic possible route to emissions reduction, spending $970 million a year on climate policies that don’t lower global emissions. They’ve maximised political theatre while actively rejecting the least-cost path to emissions reduction during a cost of living crisis.

“Last year’s Emissions Reduction Plan proposed a series of policies that were outright bad or barely had anything to do with climate change. There was the now cancelled $569 million cash for clunkers scheme, proposed changes to the national curriculum and NCEA system so we “embed an understanding of the collective nature of our wellbeing,” and a directive that Kiwis should reduce the distance travelled by light vehicles by 20 per cent.

“This year’s recommendations are more of the same. The CCC is proposing a ban on new gas installations, more investment in cycleways (at the expense of roads), and co-governance for agriculture and forestry policy.

“ACT would ditch the Zero Carbon Act which created the Climate Change Commission. Instead, ACT would set greenhouse gas targets to match or exceed the cuts achieved by its top five trading partners. New Zealand needs to play its part to reduce emissions, but not at the expense of our economic and social wellbeing.

“Otherwise, it won’t just be a brain drain that New Zealand experiences, there will be an outflow of capital and employment to countries which have no intention of cutting off their industries to achieve climate targets.

“The Government should reject the advice of the Climate Change Commission on emissions reductions, just like they rejected their advice on the Emissions Trading Scheme a few weeks ago.

“New Zealand needs to focus on building infrastructure that can cope with climate change. Roads, bridges ports and stormwater require billions of dollars over the next decade to future proof towns, cities and regions.

“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.”

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