The National-led Government has been “charged” with ecocide for passing a law which watered down New Zealand’s obligations to reduce carbon emissions.
The final reading of a bill which amended the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) drew impassioned speeches from MPs, in particular Green Party climate change spokesman Kennedy Graham.
Dr Graham levelled mock criminal charges at the Prime Minister and Minister for Climate Change.
“I charge the leaders of this Government with the moral crime of ecocide. I trust that in due course that they stand accountable before the children of this world, the children of John Key, the grandchildren of Tim Groser and mine.”
He went further: “The leaders of this government … are committing us to purgatory and thence to hell. Purgatory is the next decade, and hell the decade after.”
Ecocide, the environmental equivalent of genocide, has been written into domestic law in 10 countries and related to serious, lasting damage to ecosystems.
Dr Graham argued that it was daft to remove agriculture - which produced nearly half of New Zealand’s emissions - from the ETS while polar ice caps were melting rapidly.
MP Maurice Williamson told off the Speaker for not intervening: “When a member gets up and lays a charge of ecocide and you’re asking us to sit here and tolerate that, Sir? I find that offensive.”
Isaac, I. D. I. E. (2012, November 9). Govt’s diluted ETS branded “ecocide.” New Zealand Herald. Retrieved from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10846094
Clearly the Minister Williamson and his colleagues are unmoved by:
Munich Re study shows that North America has been most affected by weather-related extreme events in recent decades. (2012, November 1). Innovation & chaos … in search of optimality. Retrieved November 8, 2012, from http://pogus.tumblr.com/post/34752824835/a-new-study-by-munich-re-shows-that-north-america
Bertram, G., & Terry, S. (2010). The Carbon Challenge: New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme. Series 21 - Into a New Century. Wellington, New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books. Retrieved from http://www.wheelers.co.nz/books/9781877242465-carbon-challenge-the-new-zealands-emissions-trading-scheme/?audience=adult#detail
Government accused of “ecocide” over ETS scheme. (n.d.).Radio New Zealand. Retrieved November 8, 2012, from http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/120395/government-accused-of-%27ecocide%27-over-ets-scheme
Wilson, P. (n.d.). Climate change bill passes despite protest. 3news.co.nz. Retrieved from http://www.3news.co.nz/Climate-change-bill-passes-despite-protest/tabid/1607/articleID/275997/Default.aspx
Mellalieu, P. J. (2011). An orchestrated conspiracy of ignorance? The rise and fall of education for sustainability in New Zealand’s tertiary education strategies [under review]. Department of Management & Marketing Working Papers. Auckland, NZ: Unitec Institute of Technology. Retrieved from http://unitec.academia.edu/PeterMellalieu/Papers/1518839/The_Rise_and_Fall_of_Education_for_Sustainability_in_New_Zealands_Tertiary_Education_Strategies_An_Orchestrated_Conspiracy_of_Ignorance_Extended_version_
Sackur, S. (2011). Key grilled over NZ’s clean, green image. HardTalk. London: BBC World. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3yFiNk_Ufw&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Robert, D. (2011, July 15). Ocean’s ability to absorb CO2 at risk from climate change. Idealog :: the magazine and website of New Zealand creative business, ideas and innovation. Retrieved July 17, 2011, from http://idealog.co.nz/news/2011/07/oceans-ability-absorb-co2-risk-climate-change?utm_source=IdealogDailyBacon&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20110715