Scotland agrees world’s toughest 2020 climate goal

Reuters reports that Scotland has pushed Germany into second place with the world’s most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target:

Scottish lawmakers Wednesday backed a binding goal to cut greenhouse gases by 42 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, edging Germany into second place in a ranking of the most ambitious developed world targets.

“At least one nation is prepared to aim for climate legislation that follows the science,” said Kim Carstensen, head of the Global Climate Initiative of the WWF International environmental group.

Britain formally adopted in April a legally-binding target to curb greenhouse gases by 34 percent.

Germany plans to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent compared with 1990 levels.

42% by 2020 is awesome, and simply reflects what the science tells us we in the industrialised world need to do. This includes New Zealand. Could Nick Smith be so bold in his commitment, given that it is the only scientifically credible choice, when he does his whirlwind consultation tour of Aotearoa over the next three weeks? Possibly.

Would his Cabinet colleages back him if he had the courage? Doubt it. Consider getting along to one of these meetings and let the Nats know that only a credible, science based target will do, and that they need to front with the courage to do what’s right rather than what’s politically expedient.

17 Comments Posted

  1. I recently replaced a headlight halogen bulb and found that one of the major manufacturers does provide lumen data prominently on the packaging.

    Although there was clear marketing emphasis on the Kelvin temp – because that gives the Xenon ‘look’ to older cars – and thus creates a ‘value’ premuim, the lumen/watt to price curve was interesting. Aprroximately every 20% increase in lumens per watt added 50% to the price. That is probably a result of both higher production costs and higher “willingness-to-pay” from fashion conscious or safety conscious bulb buyers and something that will also be a factor for household halogen bulbs once the style gurus get in on the act.

  2. The IRLs appear to include not just PARs but also the more common R63 and R80 downlight bulbs and the smaller halogen downlights. However – as Kevyn has pointed out – there are incandescent bulbs that already meet these standards, so there is no compulsion to switch to CFLs.

    I have suggested that the first step should be to require the manufacturers or retailers to display the lumens/watt efficiency of their products, allowing consumers a chance to choose the more efficient bulbs.


    PS: The I in IRL stands for Incandescent, not Integrated.

  3. The Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for General Service Fluorescent Lamps and Incandescent Reflector Lamps doesn’t outlaw these types of lamps but merely sets a lumen/watt efficiency standard that is already being met by products in the marketplace.

    This does seem to be a cost effective way of improving America’s energy efficiency. There are certainly many control strategies that users can adopt to get really big savings but the amount of energy saved by that approach depends largely on the number of users who can be reached, informed and persuaded to stump up with that are quite often substantial capital costs.

    That’s the beauty of banning the worst of the existing plug-in products. Very few people are going to throw away their existing light fittings just to avoid being more energy efficient as long as the approved products meet other prominent user expectations such as colour rendering and reasonable price.

  4. In related US news: Obama Administration Launches New Energy Efficiency Efforts – this directly impacts certain types of lamps that have previously been exempt from regulation. This includes what they call Integrated Reflector Lamps, what most people call PAR lamps, which we all use in outdoor sensor lights, as well as some fluorescent lamps.

    Given that I save many KWH per year (and thus many dollars) by using PAR lamps rather than CFLs for certain specific applications, I hope this ruling doesn’t end up inspiring lawmakers here.

  5. last night i went to Gareth Morgan’s seminar at the Christchurch Town hall.
    He started by saying that the potential affects of climate change are life and death for people in poor countries and that policy is very important as governments are prone to make mistakes so we should be circumspect. We don’t notice climate change in our temperate climate but they (his wife) saw it in their travels to the sub antarctic, arctic, sahahra ect. In order to get a good grasp he had to find true skeptics (those with alternative theories) and he said he had to go out of NZ for that as the skeptics in NZ are “third rate….. and calling them that is praising them” [He employed scientists to make a case re CO2 emissions and climate change]
    He went over the usual stuff such as you can’t take any one year and call it climate change but have to look at 30 year’s etc. Al Gore did the world a service with his movie but the hokey stick was missleading as CO2 increase came after the warming (as the oceans release CO2) so the question is what will the temperature increase by given the extra CO2 going into the atmosphere? Each unknown was discussed and the range of temperature predictions produced by the models over the years. The upper range has been increasing. He concludes that the science isn’t settled but the weight of evidence is on the side of the “alarmists”.

  6. I was prompted to check on the reasons for the boycott. No Greenpeace or Wiki links updated since 2006.

    In 2007 Cargill (the culprit named by Greenpeace) had its facility closed by the Brazilian government.

    So Greenpeace DID notice this bit but… apparently this has slipped everyone’s notice in terms of KFC , as Cargill now appear to have capitulated.

    So… I think I can go ahead and order a bucket. It isn’t completely clean, but it ain’t like I expect to live forever.



  7. Well as much as I like RON Paul, he’s not that bright about climate, or the actual provenance of the signature list of his PETITION.


  8. I like the way Auckland gets one meeting – the same as Napier, Queenstown or Nelson – even though we have one third of the country’s population. Doesn’t seem like consultation is biased towards the rural community at all huh?

  9. Shame the Westminster Parliamant couldn’t act in as ambitious a way – they talk big but act small – sad. I suspect the Nats will emulate them.

  10. That really takes a LOT of balls when the top emitters haven’t committed to squat-all.


    Scotland’s bill included an option to curb its ambition if no strong global climate deal is reached in six months’ time.

    Very sensible.

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