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Coordination could speed up addressing climate change

12 June 2017

Position statement

Coordination of effort could speed up addressing climate change and increase wealth

The Bioenergy Association says that coordination of effort across all of the sectors could speed up New Zealand’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead to new business opportunities.

Executive Officer Brian Cox says the Government’s current approach to climate change is piecemeal and ad hoc. “With coordination across the sectors and a joint policy response we can use the opportunity of addressing climate change to create new business opportunities. Queensland has recognised this and developed a roadmap to utilise its renewable natural resources to create new bio-based industries. The announcement by Queensland University of Technology that it is leading a $14 million research programme to develop profitable processes for turning livestock-industry wastes into bioenergy and other bioproducts, such as fertilisers, animal feeds, chemicals and plastics shows what we should and could do here. That project in conjunction with Meat & Livestock Australia shows the value of cross sector coordination.”

“The highest quality wood fuel comes from wood processing so there is a significant benefit to New Zealand’s energy supply to have trees processed within New Zealand rather than having logs exported. When logs are exported we are also exporting the processing residues (sawdust and shavings) which our best source of wood fuel – but get no revenue in return.

The Bioenergy Association has identified that by 2040 biomass and waste based industries could supply more that 15% of New Zealand’s energy needs and achieve 5% of greenhouse gas emission reduction.

Mr Cox said that “With the inclusion of other bio-based products which could be produced previous analysis by BERL showed that that there could be a $6billion sector based on biomass and waste utilisation. You would think that with opportunities such as this that the Government would be showing more interest than it does. Think of the regional development and employment opportunities that would occur. Queensland is putting $14million into researching these opportunities while New Zealand sits on its hands. If we can use our ability as a leading technology developer in American Cup racing we can use that capability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Buying carbon credits offshore sends money that could be used to assist New Zealand industry to other countries resulting in no lasting benefit. We should be taking advantage of low-cost opportunities to reduce our carbon emissions here in New Zealand by increasing our use of bioenergy, particularly in the heat sector.”

“The Bioenergy Association would like to see the Government explore these opportunities as is happening in Queensland. We can be a global participant or sit and watch international boat races where our technology is being used by all other competitors.”


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