“We’re disappointed and frustrated at the lack of urgency in the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan discussion document,” said Tim Jones of Coal Action Network Aotearoa, the national group campaigning for an end to coal mining and use in Aotearoa.

“In fact, this isn’t even a plan – it’s a grab-bag of generally underwhelming proposals submitted by Ministers and Ministries. None reflect the urgency of the climate crisis, especially given the government has declared a Climate Emergency.”

“Agriculture, which represents almost 50% of New Zealand’s emissions, is dealt with in just four pages – that tells you all you need to know about the Government’s lack of climate ambition, and the Minister of Agriculture’s refusal to cooperate with the Government’s emissions reduction goals.”

“Coal is the highest-emitting fossil fuel, yet this draft document would let coal mining and burning continue for decades,” Tim Jones said.

“The Government is still giving big industrial emitters massive subsidies, in the form of free industrial allocations of carbon credits under the Emissions Trading Scheme, paid for by taxpayers, to keep burning coal and other fossil fuels: there’s no commitment to phase out those subsidies.

“The Government is also continuing to let Fonterra set the timetable for phasing out industrial coal boilers, instead of telling Fonterra to shape up. Letting big emitters continue to burn coal as long as they want isn’t a plan – it’s a failure of policy and a failure of nerve.”

“Aotearoa needs and deserves vision and leadership on climate action and climate justice,” Tim Jones said. “We need a real plan of action, with a strategy, milestones, and measurable deliverables.”

“The Prime Minister has spoken frequently about her commitment to strong action on climate change. This draft document shows that all too many of her Ministers don’t share that commitment.

It’s up to the community to step into the breach during the submission period and make it impossible for the Government to ignore the clamour for real, meaningful, measurable emissions reductions – and it’s up to the Prime Minister to get her Ministers on board and in line.

Let’s turn this into a real plan to reduce emissions and respond to the climate emergency.”