Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Biofuel Announcement Tokenistic And Minimalistic

Government’s Biofuel Announcement Today Is Tokenistic And Minimalistic

13 February, 2007

Today’s announcement by the government that it will require 3.4 per cent of the total fuel sold by oil companies to be biofuel is nothing short of tokenism, according to an international expert in the health impact of fossil fuels who is currently visiting New Zealand.

Associate Professor Ray Kearney, from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at The University of Sydney, is visiting New Zealand as a guest of the Tindall Foundation and Lanzatech - a privately owned company established to produce bio-ethanol for use as a transport fuel.

Dr Kearney says he is shocked at how weak the government has been in its biofuels sales obligation, announced today.

“3.4 per cent is an absolute pittance as a target. It needs to be 10 per cent to make any kind of difference whatsoever. The government talks about leading the rest of the world in biofuels but that’s simply ridiculous. New Zealand lags the world in comparison with countries such as Brazil, the USA and Canada. Brazil, for example, already has a minimum of 24 per cent bioethanol in its petrol.

“The government clearly has aligned itself with the polluters, primarily the oil companies. It talks about investing in the health of the country but does it recognise the impact fossil fuels have on the health of Kiwis?,” he says.

“It is well known by the experts in air quality and health that in Auckland alone, over 400 people die from pollutants in air. This equates to an annual cost well in excess of $1 billion.”

“This government simply does not have the health interests of the community at heart and shows a high degree of incompetance. I urge Kiwis concerned about this issue to use the ballot box to make their feeling known,” he says.

He says it is crucial that ethanol must be economically viable for its manufacturers otherwise there is no incentive to produce it.

“The government’s meagre 3.4 per cent target (or approximately 200 million litres) is far too small an amount in order to build an economically viable plant. An internationally accepted economically viable capacity is 150 million litres per year. After allowing for biodiesel manufacture of 120 million litres, the plant capacity for ethanol would be at best only half the economic size.

Stephen Tindall, from the Tindall Fondation, says: “We are pleased the government has committed to biofuels but we would prefer to have a higher target so the full benefits of biofuels can be realised far more quickly. ”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news