Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


NRT: Energy - Labour Chooses The Green Path

No Right Turn

Energy: Labour Chooses The Green Path


http://norightturn.blogspot.com

Back in July, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released a report titled Future currents: Electricity scenarios for New Zealand 2005-2050 [PDF]. This laid out two core scenarios for the future of electricity generation in New Zealand: a "brown" one, where we assume that demand must increase, and focus on removing perceived impediments (such as the RMA and carbon tax) so that it can be met as quickly and cheaply as possible with large, dirty projects; and a "green" (or rather Viridian) one, in which we use innovation and technology to "get more from less" while pursuing a sustainable path. National's energy policy, released last month, firmly chose the brown path. By contrast, Labour's policy, released today, is very much on the green one.

Right from the beginning, the focus is on "long-term, sustainable solutions, rather than quick fixes". There is a strong commitment to meeting EECA's target of a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2012, with a host of measures such as tightening the building code to require more insulation and encourage solar heating and smart design, funding the "warm homes project" to retrofit existing dwellings, introducing an energy rating system for homes, and requiring energy efficiency labelling on appliances. On the demand side, they will use the carbon tax to incentivise the market in favour of renewable generation, with a goal of raising our renewable generation to 80% by 2020. They will also fund research into overcoming the transmission issues associated with wind power, and into the long-term prospect of meeting all future demand growth from renewable sources. And they'll develop a National Energy Strategy so we'll have some idea of what we need, and how we can get there from here.

While there is a strong focus on renewables, this does not mean that Labour is abandoning thermal generation. They recognise that it has a necessary role in our generation mix, and have taken steps to encourage gas exploration so that our thermal stations have the fuel they need. But that bit's done, and the focus is definitely on a sustainable future where thermal fills a supplementary role for peak loads and dry years, rather than being baseload generation.

On the transport front (a topic utterly unaddressed in National's policy), Labour is promising to introduce biofuels, encourage the uptake of fuel efficient vehicles, and introduce fuel efficiency labelling. But most importantly, there is a recognition that one day, the cheap oil will run out, and a determination to plan for that eventuality. Labour will establish an interdepartmental working party to investigate the effects on all aspects of New Zealand society (and it won't just affect whether you drive to work or not), as well as plan for various lengths of supply disruption and price hikes. It's clear that they're taking a long-term view on this, and thinking for the future - as you'd expect a decent government to do.

Comparing the policies, National's offering looks awfully thin, as well as awfully dirty and short-term. Labour's OTOH, points the way to a sustainable future, one which stresses quality of life and accords with our core values. I know which one I will be choosing...

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news