Take politics out of climate policy: NZ

Take politics out of climate policy: NZ

National News
PM Scott Morrison is being urged to reestablish an independent climate change body.

PM Scott Morrison is being urged to reestablish an independent climate change body.

Aa

A New Zealand MP has urged Australia to reintroduce a climate change commission to remove politics from the debate. The Gillard Labor government set up an ind...

Aa

A New Zealand MP has urged Australia to reintroduce a climate change commission to remove politics from the debate.

The Gillard Labor government set up an independent climate commission in 2011 but it was abolished two years later by Liberal successor Tony Abbott.

Last November, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern followed Julia Gillard's lead and introduced an independent Climate Change Commission to steer government policy.

Barbara Kuriger, who is leading the New Zealand delegation at the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Canberra, talked up the idea when quizzed by reporters on Tuesday.

"In New Zealand we've just set up a climate commission so we're taking it out of the political house of parliament," the NZ Nationals MP said.

"We have a group of qualified people who can bring in the science and work out what we need to do next and by doing that we're going to get some more objectivity on it.

"Let's just give it to a group who can have a look at the science and go for what is the most effective."

She said it was not effective for climate policy to change when governments rise and fall.

"We live on a three-year parliamentary cycle and so whenever the government changes we don't actually need our climate change policies to be changing because it's a long-term thing," she said.

"We needed a 30-year program ahead of us instead of a three-year program."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government was delivering on climate action, overseeing record investment in renewable energy, and would meet its emission reduction targets.

"Australia has been carrying its weight and effectively overperforming in comparison to many other similar countries," he told reporters in Canberra.

Solomon Islands deputy opposition leader Peter Kenilorea Jr, who is also attending the Canberra forum, called on more leadership from Australia on the climate crisis.

"In the Pacific islands climate change is an existential threat for us," Mr Kenilorea said.

He said his nation was on the "frontline of climate change".

"We believe the science is clear that there is climate change occurring and it's human-induced. We see that in our communities every day," he said.

"We feel Australia has a strong voice globally and many of us in the Pacific see Australia as a big brother so we would like to see some leadership from our big brother on this particular issue."

Australian Associated Press

Aa