Peering through the Huntly coal smokescreen

Energy Minister Simon Bridges revealed in Parliament this week he has no idea what majority state-owned power companies are up to, when he wrongly claimed that Genesis Energy would not burn coal at Huntly unless there was a shortage of renewable electricity. Was it ignorance or a smokescreen? Responding to Genesis Energy’s decision to backtrack […]

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Milk and coal in South Canterbury

This week, Fonterra’s application to expand its milk-drying factory and burn more coal at Studholme, in South Canterbury, is being put to the test. The local council is considering the application and hearing from people who’ve asked to make submissions. It might come as a surprise to many people that Fonterra is one of New […]

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Trillion dollars wasted on coal

Huntly Power station - New Zealand's last big coal-fired power plant

If you had a trillion dollars to spend on energy, would you invest it in burning coal for electricity? Well that’s exactly what is slated to happen internationally, according to a new report. The report, published by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and CoalSwarm, explains that coal-generating capacity equal to 1,500 coal plants is either in […]

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Will New York divest from coal before New Zealand does?

New York City is going the way of California, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut by moving to divest from coal and reconsidering its investments in oil and gas. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this week called on his city’s $160 billion pension fund to divest from coal. Divesting from coal posed little risk to […]

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Will the Super Fund now follow its own advice and divest from coal?

Whenever we’ve asked the New Zealand Superannuation Fund what they’re doing about climate change, they’ve said they’re waiting for the Mercer report they’d backed to come out. Well it’s now out and it’s unequivocal about the impact of climate change – investing in fossil fuels is objectively bad for your returns. Mercer has made one […]

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Why are we investing in coal?

The World Wildlife Fund have today revealed that over $1 billion of New Zealanders’ pension and accident insurance money is invested in companies directly mining for coal, oil, and gas — companies who’s future profitability depends on burning fossil fuels that have to stay in the ground if we are to avoid runaway climate change. […]

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Old King Coal fights back

Coal Cares™ is a brand-new initiative from Chevron, one of America’s proud family of coal companies, to reach out to American youngsters with asthma and to help them keep their heads high in the face of those who would treat them with less than full dignity. For kids who have no choice but to use an inhaler, Coal Cares™ lets them inhale with pride. Puff-Puff™ inhalers are available free to any family living within 200 miles of a coal plant…

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Hansen “climate change a moral issue”

Last night, along with several hundred other concerned Wellingtonians, I attended Dr. James Hansen’s lecture on climate change. James Hansen is an esteemed atmospheric physicist, and has been called the ‘grandfather of climate change’. Evidently his reputation preceded him as the crowd packed out two lecture theatres at Victoria University’s Law School. One of the […]

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Global concern at Nats’ plan to mine national parks

Scrutiny of Government plans to mine our conservation lands is deepening internationally. And it’s got people hot on Facebook too. The Sunday Star Times ran a powerful feature on the weekend called “Picture imperfect”. It looks at international concern at New Zealand’s environmental performance, including National’s plan to mine conservation land: IT’S JUST a stock-take […]

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Recommended Sunday listening

Some great listening and viewing this morning on NZ environmental issues. Podcasts and on-demand TV means those who slept in haven’t missed out – so enjoy. RadioNZ’s Insight doco at 8am was on carbon offsetting. Reporter Ian Telfer narrated a well-rounded look at the benefits and risks inherent in the largely-unregulated voluntary carbon market. Includes […]

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Conservatives call for effective ban on thermal generation without CCS

The debate in the UK has been slowly heating up since the middle of last year, when a right-wing think tank called on the Labour government to impose gradually reducing emissions standards for all power plants. The effect would have been a ban on new coal plants without Carbon Capture and Storage, (CCS), while allowing […]

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Carbon Capture and Storage not right for NZ

Now that Gerry “Sexy Coal” Brownlee holds the Energy portfolio, it’s time to look once again at his favourite meme. Should we be investing in new coal fired generation, in the hopes that Carbon Capture and Storage, (CCS), will rescue us from the emissions downside? Recently published research says that CCS is questionable at best […]

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