Doctors support re-think on Emissions Trading

Published: Wed 25 Nov 2009 04:52 PM
Doctors support re-think on the Emissions Trading Scheme
OraTaiao, New Zealand’s climate and health group representing more than 100 doctors and other health professionals, supports any re-thinking by political parties around the Emissions Trading Scheme today.
“The inadequate democratic process provided by the government has not allowed any group the opportunity to provide a considered response to the proposed amendments to the Emissions Trading Scheme” says Dr Rhys Jones, Ngati Kahungunu, senior lecturer at Auckland University and co-leader of OraTaiao.
“The proposed amendments will do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, threatening a global agreement to make necessary emissions cuts, and endangering the future health of our children. The impact of climate change will be the biggest public health threat we have ever faced.”
According to OraTaiao, parliamentarians would do well to take this opportunity to ask deeper questions about the impacts of the scheme on its most vulnerable constituents, in particular whanau living in poverty.
“We all need to ask whether the resulting ETS would protect our most vulnerable whanau from the long term health, social and environmental effects of climate change. As it currently stands, the proposed changes do not contribute to international commitments to prevent the most devastating health effects of climate change, which in this country will hit Maori communities hardest,” says Dr Jones.
“The principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the value of Treaty settlements should be central to the Emissions Trading Scheme, but there are better ways to uphold these principles than economic deals at the margin that fail to address the fundamental flaws in the scheme.”
“Treaty entitlements include both protection of assets such as forests and adequately funded government health and education services to reduce longstanding inequities.”
“Let’s be clear. This is not an effective emissions trading scheme. This ETS is like writing a blank taxpayer cheque each year from now on through till 2050. This will have devastating effects on the economy, particularly for our poorest households, for generations to come. Our children and grandchildren will face a bleak future”, ends Dr Jones.

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