Saskia McCulloch: A Celebrity's Opinion.

I've just returned home after an amazing few days in Auckland with the rest of my delegation to COP19. The weekend in a phrase was “brain exploding”, but exhilarating for all. The weekend was filled with talks, presentation and discussions both within the delegation and with (incredibly) valuable minds. They were excellent in providing us with insight into the processes at the conference, and up to date information about the science behind climate change. I am so thankful to all these people for taking the time to share their wisdom with us!

I arrived slightly early at the airport for my return flight back home. Out of some strange luck and coincidence I found myself siting directly opposite Hone Harawira. After a few second guesses as to whether or not this was in fact Hone Harawira along with some support from my delegation via messaging on my cellphone I decided that I'd start a conversation. I'd never met him before but this day Hone seemed to be in a good mood. He presented himself as happy to talk to me (a stranger) but also to talk to me about his opinions on Climate Change.

Hones first point about climate change was that it was a global struggle - that all actors would have to participate in this. Most notable he argued that unless the big players such as the United States and China did jump on board that the issues would not be solved. He seemed not at all optimistic about this feat - stating that someone would have to “hold a gun against their heads” in order to make change. Turning to New Zealand in particular, he argued that even if NZ was to do all it could there would be no positive effect unless, as previously stated, the big players began to change their behaviour.

Hone's opinions on how New Zealand should implement Climate Change based policy domestically was interesting. He stated rather clearly that he was against the idea of the Emissions Trading Scheme. His argument for this was the idea of buying and selling carbon credits which then creates trade/a market based on carbon credits was just silly. His main point was that “we should be trying to reduce carbon emission, not trade them”. This to me at the time was an interesting point. The idea behind the ETS is to provide a financial incentive for individual and business alike to reduce their carbon emissions. In this view Hone wanted the same end, but with different means.

It is always interesting to see the different perspectives on how we should curb this global problem. Even though I may have to disagree with parts of Hone's perspective, it is the fact that there are so many different perspectives on this issue that is both a hinderance and help to the solution.  


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