How is it that New Zealand is supposed to be playing our part in the global mission to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, yet Nova Energy is proposing to build more fossil fuel-burning power plants that emit greenhouse gases?
A sharp rise in in agricultural emissions shows the National Party’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) must go and a meaningful carbon price be applied to the sector. According to new Environmental Protection Authority data, agriculture’s greenhouse gas output rose 7 percent last year. We cannot continue to ignore such a large and growing contributor to […]
This was the week we put climate change back on the political agenda. It seems people were waiting for it. The strength of feeling that’s emerged – frustration at New Zealand’s slide backwards into inertia over the climate crisis, anger at National’s indifference, excitement that the Greens have tabled a win-win proposal, and a real […]
Every UN climate conference, when the diplomats are negotiating the future of the planet in the back-rooms and the political leaders are jawboning about it in the plenary halls, a different gaggle of creatures congregate to explore the same issue –albeit with a shade more personal freedom than is tolerated in the adjacent rooms. This […]
The latest global storm, Typhoon Haiyan over the Philippines, is the strongest on record to make landfall. The statement by the chief Philippine climate negotiator, Yeb Sano, at the 19th annual UN negotiations in Warsaw, is perhaps the most eloquent cry of pain on behalf of humanity yet uttered. Mr Sano, whose family has been […]
Is the Deputy Prime Minister of our country a climate change denier? It may well be the case. During question time in Parliament yesterday I wanted to get into the lack of focus and inaction from this Government on climate change which is starkly highlighted by the suffering our drought-stricken farmers are going through. I […]
The 18th UN annual climate change conference commenced on Monday. I’ll be attending the 2nd week, and will blog from there about its dynamics and outcome. Meanwhile the Key Government, with breath-taking timing, has taken two decisions in the run-up to Doha, both resulting, intentionally or otherwise, in seriously weakening New Zealand’s climate change credentials […]
Two months ago, international scientists reported that the Polar ice-cap had melted far faster than the IPCC anticipated, about 80% since 1980. It might have its first ice-free day about 2015 (half a century ahead of expectations) and be completely ice-free around 2030-35. This was described as ‘terrifying news’ by the leading scientist, since it […]
The Major Electricity Users Group (MEUG) is complaing that the $145 million cash dollars of taxpayer money that Nick Smith’s ETS will give them between now and the end of 2012 is simply not enough free money.
In all the time I’ve been hopping around Parliament I’ve never heard a statement more extraordinary than this one: The numbers from Treasury are nonsense. Treasury can’t tell us what the deficit is going to be in December let alone what’s happening in 2030 or 2040. Now, I’ll admit to having a go at Treasury […]
Well known conservative commentator Thomas Friedman contends that destroying our biodiversity to fuel unregulated economic growth is like burning the Mona Lisa to cook dinner. The issue of how we should treat natural capital in our economy resurfaced today in a new economic think-tank report.
In a classic case of doublethink, the minions at the Ministry for the Environment have withheld all the contents of an ETS cabinet document clearly labelled “Approved for Release”.
I’m using Nick Smith’s own words from last year because they are so suitable. This Government’s ETS legislation is so flawed and so rushed that it will require significant amendments after the election to make it workable. In the meantime, the rushed consultation period is coming to a close, hot on the heels of the […]
Now here’s a great idea for economic development. Extract lignite, the lowest quality coal, very wet and of low calorific value. Add copious water pollution, coal seam methane and land disturbance from open cast mining.
Last night’s briefing on the ETS finally revealed the two missing columns from the curious page of numbers tabled in the House on Tuesday by Nick Smith. That table, to the extent it was comprehensible at all, showed there would be a $415m cost to the taxpayer from now to 2013; a saving between 2013 […]
It is clear from the minister’s briefing last night that the main purpose of National’s changes to the ETS is to make us effectively the seventh state of Australia. The bill mimics exactly the bill the Rudd government has been trying (unsuccessfully) to get through the Australian senate. So a bill that has been twice […]
For the first six months of this year, wilding pine control cost DOC $811,000 in carbon liabilities – a large amount for a department that has already had its budget for this year cut by $13.5 million. That money could have saved some endangered species, increased the area of land under pest control, or – got rid of more wilding pines.
Methanex could get $87 million in free credits each year. Under the Labour scheme Methanex would have paid for their growth. Under National’s scheme, taxpayers do.
Basically, it’s less obligation for everyone, and more delay. Taxpayers pick up the cost. It seriously weakens the scheme we have now, and will do little to reduce emissions.
The Maori Party seems to be having difficulty getting the National Party to agree to raising the core benefit to compensate for higher electricity and transport fuel prices under the ETS.
It’s a very serious question which I don’t take lightly, but I am beginning to wonder why the media aren’t asking this question when it comes to the Minister’s handling of the Climate Change portfolio. Probably the most vexing issue is the Minister’s cynical use of a flawed NZIER/Infometrics report, which he commissioned, in order […]
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 […]
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry released a fascinating new report today. The research project, Environmental Impacts of Multi-Story Buildings Using Different Construction Materials, modelled the life cycle energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions of four similar office building designs that used different materials as their main structural element: concrete, steel, timber and […]
There was a recurring riff behind National’s opposition to two very different Bills on Members’ Day Wednesday. One commonality was that both Bills were voted down by National, Act and United Future, and supported by Greens, Labour, Progressives and Maori Parties. But the riff I want to highlight is the idea that the problem is […]
A frog reader suggested we remind readers of the Green MPs carbon offsetting arrangements. Yesterday, they declared their travel spending since the beginning of the year, and committed to do it annually. Parliament is considering standardising such disclosure – great! In 2006 the MPs measured their emissions from air travel to create a baseline. Air […]
Hi Strings, you raised some really interesting questions in the comment section of this ETS post and I’m sorry I haven’t had time to answer them till now: We can’t “leave agriculture out of Kyoto” – it is already in, for all countries, and all countries have liabilities that include all their emissions above their […]
There is some good commentary about the Emissions Trading Scheme going on hold at Pundit: Have we wasted the whole last decade debating climate change policy, if we need to go back and start from scratch with a select committee review of ETS? No party was happy with the scheme that was finally passed in […]
Act is entering its negotiations with National today talking about its campaign themes: “three strikes” law and order policy, cutting government spending and dumping the emissions trading scheme. All of which sends shivers down many Green spines. Act does empty bluster and noise better than most parties so I guess we’ll have to wait and […]
By the looks of the polls John Key might be talking to Rodney Hide about the environment next week. That’s certainly how Hide is positioning himself in the lead up to tomorrow’s vote. John, you gotta get the country out of this Emissions Trading Scam. Hide and his party are the only remaining confirmed climate […]
The Emissions Trading Scheme will only reduce emissions by 2 percent. So a reader writes asking a query about the following John Key statement: I told the group that while we must play our part in the fight against climate change, we shouldn’t be the world leader, because that will come at the expense of […]
There is an interesting article on Slate called ‘Adam Smith Meets Climate Change‘, which notes that now many countries are introducing carbon emission trading schemes, the next step is how to harmonise those schemes on an international market. In particular countries need to reach a consensus on how to globally acceptable level of carbon emissions […]
It was guiltily good to read Bunny McDiarmid’s Greenpeace analysis of the Emissions Trading Scheme because it seems she and her colleagues have been struggling with exactly the same issues that the Green Party faced when deciding whether to vote for the legislation or not. With the bill now law there’s a big risk that […]
A strange anomaly of the Emissions Trading Scheme is that electricity is facing a carbon charge from 2010, while fuel faces a charge in 2011. This meant that the electric trolley buses in Wellington faced the strange side effect that they could become less viable compared to diesel buses. Luckily Sue Kedgley and other stepped […]
It’s interesting, in all the rhetoric about the Emissions Trading Scheme, to see the Herald’s business correspondent Brian Fallow applying more than a modicum of balance to the debate. His article last week on the greening of assigned amount units (AAUs) was notable as one of the few pieces that had been written by someone […]
The Minister of Climate Change, David Parker notes this afternoon: “The difference between Labour and National that is clear to everyone is that Labour has a track record on climate change you can trust, whereas National has a track record of denial, obstruction, and delay.” Yup, here’s a graph of Labour’s track record you can […]
Peter Dunne is pooh-poohing the $180 million compensation package for households that will form part of the Emissions Trading Scheme, which NZ First is claiming from it’s negotiations with Labour. Dunne’s back of the napkin calculations are that each household will receive $2.15 a week. He then further calculates $2,15 to be about 7 eggs. […]
Jeanette gave her second reading speech on the Emissions Trading Scheme last week and it’s worth pulling out a few quotes to discuss some of the technical details. First let’s look at one of the changes the Greens made to the free credit allocations for trade exposed industries: In a further amendment, the Minister must […]
Isn’t it bizarre how the sole issue in politics some ten weeks before an election is the behaviour of one MP, whose party is running at 2-4% in the polls? Whether we can take his word; who would or would not sack him; what his lawyers think; and who said what to whom. Frankly, who […]
The Hive noted on Friday that: The revised [Emissions Trading Scheme] contains an enormous new subsidy for the fishing industry. This was, surprise, surprise negotiated by NZ First… Fish subsidies are the direct cause of over fishing. We are opposed to any subsidisation of this industry. The original ETS has no subsidy going to the […]
The have been the usual voices in favour and against the Greens’ decision to back the Emissions Trading Scheme, and I’ll talk more about that later. But I also just saw a media release coming from a different angle from the Director of the University of Otago Wellington’s He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme […]