We are committed to conserving and enhancing our natural environment, including New Zealand's biodiversity and the air, fresh water, soil, and oceans.
We believe it is the responsibility of all users of these resources to be good stewards and preserve them for following generations to the benefit of all New Zealanders.
We will ensure that environmental regulations and funding target real environmental issues rather than being used as a tool for "nanny state" controls and political point scoring. "Clean and Green" should be the reality, not just a marketing slogan.
We believe that current climate policies are a distraction from real opportunities to protect and improve the environment. There is no climate emergency. We will end all climate focused taxes, subsidies, and regulations. Laws like the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) impose significant costs on everyday New Zealanders while not improving environmental outcomes.
Successive governments have used climate change as an excuse for ever increasing red tape, wasteful spending, and economic meddling. Through the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), New Zealand consumers pay an invisible tax on everything. The ETS distorts the whole supply chain, for example by incentivising inefficient energy sources and imposing additional costs on the most efficient sources. Revenue from the ETS further distorts the economy because it is distributed as grants, giving a commercial advantage to companies that receive these funds. Ultimately, reducing New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions does not actually benefit the environment in any way – if anything only shifting high-emitting activities overseas.
The current focus on reducing emissions through taxes, subsidies, and regulations is counterproductive, and we would replace it with a move towards adaptation and building resilience. No amount of emissions reduction would have prevented recent major floods, but both the human cost and the terrible waste due to property damage could have been reduced by improved infrastructure and planning. We would invest in those improvements, for example in better flood control, roading infrastructure, and emergency response.
New Conservatives oppose plans by other parties to summarily end the long-standing restrictions placed on field trials and release of genetically modified organisms.
We consider that this proposal will overturn a societal consensus similar to the "Nuclear Free" policy, and such a decision should not be made without society-wide buy-in.
We note that to justify this proposal National and Act have turned to climate scaremongering, claiming we need genetically engineered organisms to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions New Conservatives believe that is an inappropriate use of technology – we should not be playing God, altering the natural makeup of organisms for no real environmental benefit – and this shows there is no real case for change.