For those concerned it is not sufficiently ambitious, I would note that with our gross emissions up 24% on 1990 levels, and the age of our forests in 2020 not providing any net benefit by 2020, this target equates to a reduction from current emissions of between 34% to 44%. Be in no doubt that this is going to be a very big ask for New Zealand over the next decade. (1)The bit Nick fails to mention is that the net emissions - once mitigation (that's trees and stuff) is taken into account - is that net emissions are up by less than 5% on 1990 levels. Which mean's Nick's target of a 34% to 44% reduction is really only 15% to 25%.
Obviously, I wouldn't complain if National were planning to cut CO2 emissions by 34% to 44% CO2, relative to the current net figure. That would make for a credible reduction, relative to 1990. But somehow, I don't think that is how it will work out.
The downside, of course, is that it will mean we're contributing to a massive problem that will unfold over decades - the social consequences (meaning mass migrations and wars) resulting from climate change - but, hey, that's going to be on someone else's watch and won't affect people likely to vote National at the next election cycle, whereas taking some proper action will.
That's probably the bottom line. No massivbe Exxon funded conspiracy, just a bunch of politicians trying to cling on to power, even if it means doing nothing and hoping everything comes out okay somehow, in the end.
And they write off the greenie-left as naive dreamers.
1 - As described previosuly on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2009/08/nationals-gross-emissions.html and http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2009/08/what-surprise-ii.html
2 - From a speech by Nick Smith to the Climate Change and Business Conference, Tuesday, 25 August 2009. (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0908/S00351.htm)