Dodgy deals with climate change fraudsters…

Alongside Russia and Ukraine, New Zealand is complicit in a climate swindle, and our reputation is at risk, writes Geoff Simmons.

Climate Cheats: A detail from the cover illustration for the Morgan Foundation report

New Zealand has been a willing participant in a wholesale climate fraud. The trail to prove this allegation is long and winding, and the detail can all be read in a new report here. But it may be simplest to start with an analogy.

Imagine your local primary school is planning a working bee. You sign up to “do your bit”, but another parent phones up to say they can’t make it. Good news, though – they say that they have paid a worker to come in their stead. All sounds OK so far.

The day of the working bee rolls around and the worker doesn’t show up. You think the parent will probably want to know that their plan didn’t come off, so you give them a call to let them know. They get defensive and respond that it doesn’t matter the worker didn’t show up, because they have an invoice for the payment they made to the worker to show they have done their bit.

They post you the invoice as proof. You can see from the invoice that they paid the worker next to nothing, and the worker they hired is known locally as a cowboy. No wonder then they didn’t show.

How would you feel? You’d probably be stunned at the audacity of the parent, the attempt to look like an honourable member of the community, when in fact they are a barefaced cheat. You’d probably be even more upset about this than you were about the parents that didn’t show up and didn’t say why.

In simple terms, this is what New Zealand has been doing to meet our international climate obligations. We are not really  doing anything.

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