2012 will see the expiry of the Kyoto agreement, an in turn a no doubt rushed, weak next stage will emerge from the UN Summit on Climate Change. The 2007 Bali Summit witnessed an agree to agree next time step from the general assembly. Although this eased pressure at the time, it is now beginning to build up again and will need to be more diligently dealt to next year.
New Zealand has weak legal environmental framework, hence per capita our carbon emissions are horrible.
Polling low, Labour needs to take a stance and see the up and coming Summit as a tool to justifiably attack the previously ignored tax on green house emissions from farms.
By remaining weak against this opportunity, Labour will do themselves little favours in the voting pocket as votes from farmers are slim pickings as it is.
Taxing green house emissions becomes even more economically necessary as our debt drips further into the red at hundreds of million a week. Through a tax scheme, Labour would be able to present New Zealand as a united front against green house emissions to the UN.
The OECD report did us little favours, hence we need to prove that we are a country that can show initiative in rough times.
If Labour presents policy on taxing green house emissions with less justification than National can provide against the move, they will be selling themselves short. If, however, the policy proves that Labour is looking to the future and not just at the gaping hole in the nation's wallet, they will certainly be ahead of take-every-day-as-it-comes National.
Unified and justified economic and environmental policy can only be a step in the right direction.