Hon Tim Groser is the Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues (International Relations), amongst other portfolios including Trade, Conservation and Foreign Affairs.
He has had extensive experience with international negotiations, having previously been New Zealand’s Chief Negotiator at the GATT Uruguay Round and a New Zealand Ambassador to the WTO. He has also acted as policy advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group and the Treasury.
In this talk, he discusses the climate change talks in Copenhagen later this year, their implications for New Zealand, the challenges facing the talks and the hopes of any resolution to them.
In discussing the current political view on climate change, he says:
“I understand that there are scientists, and I don’t question their qualifications or their integrity, who don’t agree, who are still in the sceptic camp, but I think responsible politicians have to go with the consensus view, and that means with the IPCC.”
“In the broad metaphorical sense, we have to accept that science has decided this is something we need to do something about, and my sense from what I’ve been told by our scientists is that where the science moves in the future it is likely to get, in a sense, even worse, probably (we’ll see); even worse meaning ‘we’re just not gonna get there, guys’.”
Further, he also explains that an ETS system is, almost by definition, a messy and iterative process:
“It’s an iterative process. We won’t get it right, nobody will get it right, we’ll have to make adjustments – people have to accept that and be adult about this…If ever there’s a case of public policy where the law of unintended effects applies, it applies here. We will make our best assessments, but finally, we will need to make adjustments in all manner of ways, including ramping it up depending on what the science tell us and what the evolution of public opinion and international efforts are.”
His full comments can be heard in the podcast below: