Hot Air: Climate Change Politics in New Zealand
Directed by Alistair Barry Abi King-Jones (2013)
This documentary left me with a sick, futile feeling about the hopelessness of real democracy occurring any time soon in New Zealand. It tells the really sad tale of wealthy business interests aggressively blocking meaningful action on emissions reduction for over 30 years.
I was previously unaware that in 1990 the incoming National (conservative) government set a target of reducing NZ’s carbon emissions by 20% in 10 years. Alarmed by data being released by international climate scientists, National’s Minister of the Environment Simon Upton persuaded cabinet to agree to a $10/tonne carbon tax. His plan was to implement the tax in 1997, if polluting industries failed to achieve voluntary emissions targets.
In 1993, Upton established a board of inquiry to hear the resource consent for the Stratford (Taranaki) Power Station. The final consent…
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