Hands-on Govt needed to grasp green growth opportunities

If New Zealand is to take the opportunities offered by a clean, green economy it needs a hands-on government to show leadership to make it happen, says Grant Robertson.

Labour’s Environment spokesperson was speaking in response to the release of the Greenpeace report ‘The Future is Here’. It calls on New Zealand to take the opportunity provided by transitioning to a clean, green economy.

“The report is absolutely clear. If New Zealand is going to truly take advantage of the possibilities for jobs, prosperity and environmental protection it requires leadership from government.

“At the moment all we are seeing from National is a continuation of their 'ostrich' economics that has them stuck in a rut of old, failed policies. 

“It has dismissed previous calls from groups like Pure Advantage to embrace a new approach to the economy, and has gone in the other direction by gutting the Emissions Trading Scheme and putting all of its focus on the search for fossil fuels while failing to invest in developing our renewable energy sector.

“There’s plenty of food for thought in Greenpeace's report.  Labour will look at all of the recommendations with an open mind.

“From his first speech as leader, David Shearer has made clear that Labour understands the need for a new approach so the environment and economy work together not in competition.

“There is so much potential for New Zealand to be part of the billions of dollars of green growth opportunities, including developing renewable energy technology and creating high value, good paying jobs.

“None of this will happen if the Government continues to sit on the side-line, content to be a ‘fast follower’.  It will only happen if a Government shows leadership and works in partnership with innovators and those at the cutting edge of the new economy.

“Labour will provide that leadership,” said Grant Robertson.