Aunty Beeb has taken a look at New Zealand’s carbon ambitions. A report headlined “Attempting to ‘kick the carbon habit” gives a pretty good overview of the special problems – and advantages – that NZ has. There’s a decent plug for Grove Mill wines and their carbon zero status, plenty of room for the PM to tout her carbon ambitions, and a chance for the Greens to point out how our imported cheap cars pose a problem for transport emissions. It also gives National’s Nick Smith a chance to act all pessimistic about the prospects for agricultural emission reductions.
“The truth is that we are only just starting to nail the science of how to measure the amount of methane and nitrous oxide from agricultural production. I think it is a matter of decades rather than years before there’ll be the sort of breakthroughs that enable us to bring those emissions down.”
Decades? Has Dr Smith never heard of nitrification inhibitors, or about breakthrough research on methanogens? Or – perish the thought – land use change to low emissions crops? If he has his hands on National’s carbon policy, then I am extremely concerned about what might happen after the election if National form the core of the next government.
Luckily, there’s not one word in the BBC story about the ETS and its difficulties. That was a narrow escape. If the world gets to hear that emissions trading scheme is in trouble and that our low carbon talk is just hot air, then all our image building will be wasted. Nick Smith would do well to reflect on that.