Last night in Karori, the Wellington Central electorate had one of its first public meetings of the campaign period.
Outgoing MP Sue Kedgley, who has stood in Wellington Central for four consecutive terms of Parliament, hosted new Candidate James Shaw and sitting MP Dr Kennedy Graham, from Christchurch, for an evening of presentations and discussion about sustainable options for our economy, a smart green economic plan which has been rolling out in stages over the past couple of months.
Dr Graham spoke first, detailing the development of global policy initiatives developed during his time with UNDP – from the 1992 Rio Summit on Climate Change forwards, he has been in the vanguard of those trying to quantify, and provide a matrix of solutions for, a range of climate issues. He was our Green MP at Copenhagen 2010, and gave a sobering presentation on the changes that have occurred since that first conference in 1992. The win over ozone depletion of atmosphere was the best outcome of those years, but we have lost biodiversity, and seen global CO2 emissions rise far outside the protocols first discussed, then reviewed at each subsequent Climate Conference. The time is now at hand to be bold and bring our country into the possibility of a bright green future; it is not a time to sit on our hands and continue to say, ‘We’re so small, our emissions don’t rate against the big economies of China or the USA’, which is a cop-out taken by too many local commenters.
James Shaw then took the floor, and delivered an impressive presentation of the three key policies that the Greens are working on this election, to alleviate the pressures on kiwis that have been exacerbated by the global recession – Addressing Child Poverty in NZ, launched by Metiria Turei in West Auckland, Cleaning up NZ’s Rivers, launched by Dr Russel Norman in Wellington’s Waitangi Park just ten days ago, and a sneak peek at the next policy around energy sustainability, which I won’t go into here because it’s being launched on the 21st September, a mere three weeks away, so look out for the media on that when it happens.
Best one-line of the evening to James – “as Clinton said, ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’, or as Kennedy put it, ‘It’s the stupid economy!'”; which followed on from Dr Graham’s rather sobering facts and figures very well, as the discussion turned to ways of improving both our economy and our sustainability.