The Government’s Consultation Document on the Emissions Reduction Plan needs to show how it will deliver on our shared aspiration for a Just Transition to low emissions economy. One where the impact of change is managed to benefit all New Zealanders, says CTU President Richard Wagstaff.
“We know a change to a low-carbon economy must happen for our planet to have a future. We’ve also learned from harsh experience in New Zealand that rapid change can have devastating impacts on working people if we do not have careful and considerate planning. The consultation document on the Emissions Reduction Plan released today shows that existing initiatives will be insufficient to make the emission reductions required, or to ensure a transition that is just and equitable.
“The CTU acknowledges the work that the government has done to date on climate change, and we welcome the commitment to the Climate Change Commission’s Emissions Budgets. But today’s report contains very few specific, practical proposals to significantly reduce emissions. Very little by way of realisable plans to support working families through the transition. And it shows almost no practical steps to include working people in the decisions that affect their jobs and communities.
“Kicking the can down the road on these decisions will only leave future decision-makers facing fewer choices with worse options. It will also see the cost of delay fall on working families, and those with the least ability to pay in terms of higher energy bills and higher fuel prices.”
CTU President Richard Wagstaff says good intentions need to be backed with a plan. “There needs to be a clear pathway to make these budgets tenable. Closely involving working people in ensuring a Just Transition is key to getting it right for our climate and for our people.”
“For our part, the union movement is very keen to work with the Government to develop clearer plans that would speed up our Just Transition, ensuring that working families are supported and protected from both climate change, and its inevitable economic repercussions” says Richard Wagstaff.