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Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Duration: 93 mins
The politics of climate change in New Zealand.
During the summer of 1988 temperatures soared across America causing widespread droughts. Climate change was put on the world’s political agenda and New Zealand promised to do its share to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
At first it seemed easy for the government to take appropriate action, but soon the big industrial emitters got organised. Top lobbyists were hired, political donations given and veiled and explicit threats made to key politicians including successive prime ministers.
Scientists and environmental activists struggled to be heard against an orchestrated campaign of “doubt” financed by New Zealand’s biggest corporations. The farming lobby joined the fight. Policies were diluted or abandoned as successive governments tried to make progress. The democratic processes of political parties, elections and the role of the media were manipulated during a twenty year struggle to control carbon emissions.
Is it possible for a small democratic nation to address the greatest political challenge of the age?