GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Subsidising pollution and Blah, blah, blah


We all know the headlines of the developing climate crisis.

Killer tornado sweeps through Papatoetoe, Unprecedented Floods hit Ashburton, US Pacific Northwest burning up, 50% Great Barrier Reef – Gone, rest going, Record rainfall flooding hits Germany. Island nations face rising seas

Against this background of climate catastrophe, the New Zealand government continues to subsidise carbon intensive industries like aluminium smelting and steel making and aviation. While underfunding investment in renewable industries and transport, As a result New Zealand’s carbon emissions continue to increase year by year.

To address climate change Prime Minister Ardern and Climate Change Minister Shaw have come up with a plan that they say will make   New Zealand carbon neutral by 2050.  New Zealand’s carbon neutral by 2050 plan, does not address agriculture emissions, New Zealand’s carbon neutrla by 2050 also does nothing about ending government subsidies worth $billions supporting carbon emiting industries.

In a word; New Zealand’s Carbon zero by 2050 plan is a ‘fraud’.

Air travel is a huge contributor to climate change, that attracts huge subsidies from the New Zealand government.

Covid-19: Government increases Air NZ loan by $600 million; $1.5 billion total

No Right Turn:

TDB Recommends

The government offered to pay millions of dollars to Rio Tinto just months after promising in the election campaign it would not give a direct subsidy.


While campaigning in Southland ahead of the 2020 election Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “We have said we do not believe we should be giving a direct government subsidy to Rio Tinto, so that’s not what we will be doing.”

Three months later, the government wrote to Rio Tinto, which owns 80 percent of New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS), with an offer of a payment to begin the very next month, in January this year…..

More fossil fuel subsidies

No Right Turn:

……The Glenbrook steel mill is one of New Zealand’s dirtiest emitters, producing over 1.6 million tons of CO2 a year. The cost to the government is even higher: weirdly, we subsidise it by 2.1 million tons a year. At the government’s internal valuation, that’s worth $315 million a year. 

Honest Government explains how climate Neutral by 2050 works.

Great Thunberg has said that Carbon Neutral by 2050 is, “Blah, blah, blah”.

Beaming live from Cop26 in Glasgow, James Shaw told John Campbell on TVNZ Breakfast, that Thunberg is “not totally wrong”, because we have “hardened our targets and increased our ambitions”. These “hardened targets and “increased ambitions” might go some way to explain how Prime Minister Ardern can go before the world and claim that New Zealand is leading the world in ending fossil fuel subsidies.

Global climate summit: Jacinda Ardern urges other nations to follow NZ’s lead

…..Ardern said New Zealand had been leading the charge on “climate finance” such as ending fossil fuel subsidies.

Not only is the Prime Minister lying to us, she is lying to herself.

When will the lying stop?

When will real climate action begin?

Pat O’Dea is a unionist and human rights activist.


  1. The lies won’t stop they will increase under the current Government.
    Look at their promises look at their delivery. A huge hole.

    • So you advocate a Right-Wing Government? By and large right-wingers tend to disbelieve that global warming is urgent, or that any action should be taken at all. Twice as damaging as current policies of faking a minor action or two!

Comments are closed.