Carbon News 8/12/14: NZ’s multi-billion carbon blowout

We’re facing a $3b carbon crisis … and it could be worse

New Zealand has a $3 billion carbon headache looming – and Treasury says that’s the conservative estimate. Carbon emissions in the period 2021 to 2030 could cost the country as much as $52 billion. Official briefings to the incoming Government acknowledge that the costs of meeting emissions reductions targets after 2020 were likely to rise significantly because “our emissions are forecast to increase and carbon prices are likely to be higher”.

The country needs a carbon budget, says pressure group

A climate change lobby group is calling for a national carbon budget and legally binding emissions reduction targets. The Sustainability Council’s paper comes as it releases figures showing New Zealand is facing a carbon liability of between $3 billion and $52 billion by 2030. Drawing on Government documents and its own work, the research and advocacy trust paints a picture of a country running a creative carbon accounting process, in which carbon liabilities have been shunted off to a time when carbon prices are predicted to be much higher.

Groser has a cunning plan (but he won’t say what it is)

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says New Zealand will “push the envelope” on post-2020 emissions reductions. But he still won’t say what that means. New Zealand has to announce its 2021-2030 emissions reduction target before the negotiations for a new international climate treaty in Paris late next year. Groser, who is now in Lima for UN climate talks, told TV’s The Nation at the weekend that the target didn’t have to be settled until the middle of next year.

Ocean heat drives surge to global warming record

It’s official, even though it won’t be conclusive for a few months yet: if present trends continue, 2014 will be one of the hottest years on record − and quite possibly the hottest of them all. Continue reading “Carbon News 8/12/14: NZ’s multi-billion carbon blowout”

Carbon News 1/12/14: Future of work in NZ in clean tech, says Labour

Labour vows to watch work and the new economy


The Labour Party’s Future of Work Commission will include analysis of the impacts on work of climate change and the low-carbon economy. The commission was announced by Labour leader Andrew Little at a business briefing in Auckland this morning. It will be led by finance spokesman Grant Robertson, who told Carbon News that clean-tech opportunities are at the forefront of the party’s thinking.

Govt hopes Kyoto credits will cover emissions blow-out


The Government will use international Kyoto credits received in what’s known as the KP1 true-up to cover its emissions blow-out. But it doesn’t yet know how much of a help they will be.

Memo farmers: Learn to manage your methanotrophs


Farmers could cut their future exposure to carbon prices by looking after the methanotrophs in their soils, a soil scientist says.

Lima climate talks ‘stepping stone’ for universal treaty


A new round of talks in Lima is an opportunity to raise immediate awareness on climate change and lay the foundation for a new universal agreement to be adopted in 2015, says a top UN official. Continue reading “Carbon News 1/12/14: Future of work in NZ in clean tech, says Labour”

Carbon News 17/11/14: G20 climate action

Minister knows of water woes, but public information tap is turned off

Finance Minister Bill English has been told something about fresh water — but the public isn’t allowed to know what it is. Last month, Ministry for the Environment officials were forced to admit they were wrong to say that the quality of our waterways is “stable or improving”.

Deal or no deal — can China and the US deliver?

It’s been called an historic agreement — a game changer in the battle to combat climate change. But can China and the US fulfil the promises in their announcement of plans to cut carbon emissions?

Does this climate deal let China do nothing for 16 years?

“As I read the agreement it requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years while these carbon emissions regulations are creating havoc in my state and around the country.” — US Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, November 12, 2014.

Crowd-funders get behind CarbonScape

Kiwi cleantech company CarbonScape has hit its crowd-funding equity target. Continue reading “Carbon News 17/11/14: G20 climate action”

Carbon News 3/11/14: NZ fails as UN wails

Our emissions plan hopeless, says renowned academic

New Zealand has no chance of meeting its 2020 emissions reduction target under current policies, says a leading scientist involved in the latest IPCC report. Professor Ralph Sims, of Massey University, is recognised around the world for his expertise on climate change and renewable energy, but is never consulted by our own Government.

Leaders must act, says UN after dire climate report

If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems, says a United Nations report. Echoing the dire warning, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that if the world maintains its “business as usual” attitude about climate change, the opportunity to keep temperature rise below the internationally target of 2degC “will slip away within the next decade”.

What the politicians said …

All three of New Zealand’s major political parties say that the IPCC’s latest call on climate change is important.

Climate refugees? we’ll think of something …

New Zealand still has no plan to help climate change refugees — despite acknowledging that many Pacific Islands people might need to be relocated. Continue reading “Carbon News 3/11/14: NZ fails as UN wails”

Carbon News 28/10/14: oil drilling, honey and crowd-funding green coke

Hunt for oil anchors govt’s environment plan

The National Party is leading off its environmental package for its new term in power with plans to encourage more oil exploration — despite the burning of fossil fuels being the single biggest cause of climate change.

Honey hits the jackpot for steep-land believer

In 2010, Taranaki farmer Neil Walker was enthusiastic about the potential for a combination of carbon farming and beekeeping to rejuvenate steep-land farming. Four years on, he is still buying cheap land and planting it in tree crops, despite carbon prices being less than a third of what they were back then.

Green-coke pioneer puts faith in public-funding

Clean-coal company CarbonScape is the first clean-tech company in New Zealand to use crowd-funding to raise capital. The Blenheim-based start-up launched a bid last week on the Snowball Effect platform to raise at least $400,000 dollars.

Good tyres tread lightly on the earth

New Zealand could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 6000 tonnes a year by installing fuel-efficient tyres on the nation’s fleet of light vehicles. And at the same time, businesses and private-vehicle owners could shave up to 7 per cent off their fuel bills. Continue reading “Carbon News 28/10/14: oil drilling, honey and crowd-funding green coke”