Is the New Zealand Government’s plan to ratify the Paris Agreement in 2016 consistent with a two degrees Celsius (2C) carbon budget?
Since the December 2015 Paris Agreement, the British climate scientist Kevin Anderson has given a couple of talks with the title Beyond Dangerous Climate Change: Does Paris Lock-out 2 Degrees?
Anderson’s message is that although the Paris Agreement was a diplomatic triumph, it relies on speculative utopian technological fixes (bio-energy carbon capture and storage) in the future in order to reconcile the now extremely limited carbon budgets consistent with the desired 2C (and 1.5C) temperature limits with business-as-usual economics and politics. In other words, the Paris Agreement locks out the 2C target.
Why do I mention that? Because I want to run a ‘Kevin Anderson’ ruler over the New Zealand Government’s recently announced ratification of the Paris Agreement. To conduct a bare assessment of New Zealand’s emissions taking account that it is the cumulative emissions that determine warming. I want to ask the question ‘does the New Zealand ratification also lock out any policies for emissions reductions consistent with a fair share of a 2 degrees Celsius carbon budget?’
Continue reading “Is it in the spirit of the Paris Agreement to ratify it with more emissions and more creative accounting?”
Simon Johnson looks at ‘fix the ETS’ metaphors and argues that trying to incrementally ‘save’ or ‘fix’ the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme will ensure it remains ineffective in reducing domestic emissions for decades. Politically, its just flogging the dead horse. We don’t have time for a unending institutionalised cultural conflict over ‘fixing the NZETS’ like the one we have had for ‘fixing’ the Resource Management Act.
In my last post I used the metaphor or framing of ‘arguing over the gears while accelerating towards a cliff’ for the latest review of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.
Other commentators are using a very different framing for the review; that of ‘fixing the NZETS’. For me that raises some fundamental questions. What are the political advantages and disadvantages of the two framings? Where will each framing lead us? Which framing is more ‘science-informed’?
Continue reading “Fixing the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme is just flogging the dead horse”
Simon Johnson aka Mr February looks at the Government’s latest token consultation about tinkering with the train-wreck New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. We are still driving fast towards a cliff but the argument has moved from which gear to air-con versus heater. The Government has kindly given us the opportunity to make a submission about how hot or cold we should be as we go over the emissions cliff.
Back in September 2012, when Tim Groser and the National Government were last watering down the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS), I wrote a post that used an excellent metaphor for amending the NZETS, tinkering with the gears while driving a car fast towards a cliff.
All credit should go to former Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons who had absolutely nailed her answer to questions from TVNZ about the relevance of amendments to the NZETS.
“Look, its like we are in a very fast car, we are heading towards a cliff, which is getting really close, and we are arguing whether to change from fifth to fourth gear”.
Now we roll forward and there is another review of the woeful NZETS.
Continue reading “How fast over the cliff? More tinkering with the train-wreck NZ Emissions Trading Scheme”
Australia’s brilliant First Dog On The Moon on climate action (courtesy of The Tree), deemed by me to be relevant in the aftermath of an election that has delivered New Zealand another three years of National-led government, and therefore little prospect of serious action on climate matters. I’ll have a slightly less amusing reaction to the result in due course…
It was always going to be difficult to avoid writing more about the impact of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics and what it tells us about the way the present government and its supporters have behaved, so in my post at The Daily Blog this week — Bought and paid for – the dirty politics of climate denial — I take a look at the latest revelations from the hacked correspondence. It ain’t pretty…