Politicians should walk the talk on climate change

Wed, 06 Apr, 2022

“ACT is again calling on politicians to put their money where their mouth is and reduce their travel to reduce emissions,” ACT’s Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court says.

“With the latest IPCC report telling us once again we need to do more, we’ve also once again seen the usual group of politicians bemoan their lack of progress and speculate on what can be done. What none of them has addressed is the impact of having MPs fly en masse to Wellington 30 times a year.

“Parliamentarians could take one simple and costless action to help the climate and save the taxpayer significant money. We propose to change the parliamentary calendar so that MPs sit for four days a week for 23 weeks a year, instead of three days a week for 30 weeks.

“Almost no other group of New Zealanders have an unlimited air travel budget. Ironically, it’s often the politicians who talk about climate change the most who report the biggest air travel expenses each quarter.

“This would reduce the number of flights taken by MPs, and their carbon emissions, by around 25 percent.

"in 2020, David Seymour proposed this policy to the Standing Orders Committee that sets the rules for Parliament before each election. No other Party supported the idea, they should.

"Furthermore, by reducing travel time, this initiative would make Parliament friendlier to people with families who want to go to Parliament and make a difference. It's a win win.

“If our MPs can’t take a small, positive step towards a cleaner planet, what hope do we have of addressing long-term climate change?”