Wall Street Journal rebukes NZ on its Climate Variation Response

11 September 2009 

Wall Street Journal rebukes New Zealand on its climate variation response  

A Wall Street Journal opinion piece has delivered a stinging rebuke of New Zealand's climate variation response, describing as 'lunacy', the Government's wish to drive down living standards in order to protect the country's perceived image abroad.

"For far too long New Zealand has delivered a policy response built upon what we think others think of us, as opposed to what they actually do think of us," says Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers President.

"I hope the tone of the Wall Street Journal may jolt the Government out of its myopic obsession with the 0.2 percent of global emissions we produce.  Climate variation isn't something New Zealand can lead upon, as we are a flea in the global scheme of things.

"In the case of an international climate variation response, New Zealand needs to be a follower and not a leader.  While we must play our part, it's an issue that only the big emitters can seriously address and provide leadership upon, as only they can set the international framework.

"So where the bloody hell is the United States, the European Union, China, Canada, India and Australia?

"New Zealand farmers would be happy to be treated the same as farmers in the United States and the European Union.  But instead we are the only country on the planet to include all agricultural sectors and gasses in our climate variation response.

"I'm tired of armchair exporters telling us what our brand is when they export absolutely nothing.  Our brand is built upon safe, wholesome and nutritious food and not a slogan.

"The Wall Street Journal rightly points out that no one here really knows what the real cost of implementing these policies will be on the average family.  Any household impact figure is worth about as much as the paper it's written on 

"Where's the detailed policy on how a 34-44 percent reduction will be rung from electricity, fuel, building materials, food, clothing, electronics and services?

"The Wall Street Journal has a different slant on what our 'brand' ought to be and that's 'focusing on encouraging strong economic growth to support a vibrant, entrepreneurial society. That way, tourists may want to come to New Zealand and stay'.  Amen to that.

"Federated Farmers solution is to take a practical approach and invest in research and mitigation expertise, which is already happening. As a country, we need to plant significant numbers of trees, invest in water storage and keep agriculture out of the ETS so we can still earn some export dollars to pay our increasing bills," Mr Nicolson concluded