Zero Carbon Act

In amongst the Christmas rush the following press release was made on 18 December:

The Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, is pleased to announce today the Government’s first important step towards creating a Zero Carbon Act. “Today the Government is making the first important move to deliver on our commitments to be a world leader on climate change,” says James Shaw. “Cabinet has agreed to a process of consultation in 2018, before the Zero Carbon Bill is introduced.

The Bill will be a cornerstone of New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions, climate resilient future. “I’m looking forward to engaging in conversations with New Zealanders next year as together we design the framework for New Zealand to transition to a sustainable economy.

The full text of the media release is here.

So, we are full steam ahead into a “conversation” and public submission process which will include setting up a money gobbling “Independent Climate Change Commission” so that NZ can “be a world leader on climate change”.

But the outcome of this “independent” [yeah – right /Tui] commission has already been determined by the Honourable James Shaw in the name of the bill, “Zero Carbon”.

[James must be high on the list of politicians for which “Hon” is a huge misnomer.]

Here is a picture of the debating chamber just before the Zero Carbon Act passes into law.


Here is a picture of the debating chamber immediately after the Zero Carbon Act is passed.

Every last molecule of carbon has been removed and a “Zero Carbon” state of nirvana has been achieved.

What utter muppets!  We cannot ever achieve “Zero Carbon” so why on earth call the legislation the “Zero Carbon Act”?

The full press release goes on to say,

[…]The Bill will be a cornerstone of New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions, climate resilient future.[…]


[…]“Putting our new climate change target into law will hold the Government to account and place New Zealand in a small group of countries who aspire to net-zero emissions in the next few decades.[…]

Well, that is a little more honest – “low emissions” and “net-zero emissions” – still stupid, but at least not totally disingenuous like “zero carbon”.

[…]“From May next year, we’ll have a conversation with all New Zealanders about the potential target to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.[…]

Ah, yes – another “conversation”.  Oh goody!   But wait, hang on —  Isn’t it zero carbon?  I’m confused, now it is only a potential target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

[…]“The nature of the challenges we face with climate change are long-term and that means we need an independent commission which can take a long-term non-partisan view, provide independent advice to the government of the day, and ensure New Zealand stays on track to meet its climate change goals.[…]

An independent commission which can take a long-term non-partisan view [that will result in “zero carbon”].  Oh look, a porcine aviator just went past my window.

Call me a cynic, but I couldn’t help noticing that the Cabinet Minute that backed all this signed off with:

What are they going to use for “Hard-copy” after the Zero Carbon Act is passed? Paper is approximately 50% carbon. Even slate includes traces of graphite, the most stable form of carbon under standard conditions.

Oh dear ….  “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!”

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Dr Seuss may have been describing WH when he wrote, “He was shortish. And oldish. And brownish. And mossy. And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy.”  WH, however, is tallish and only just fits in his MG.