The Numbers Don’t Lie - We Need a Low Carbon Plan
NZ net emissions projection, MfE 2013
The Numbers Don’t Lie - We Need a
Low Carbon Plan
Press release - Generation Zero 21 October 2013
Updated greenhouse gas emissions projections showing New Zealand’s net emissions increasing by more than 50 percent by 2025 highlight the desperate need for a national low carbon strategy, says youth organisation Generation Zero.
The projections, released in the 2013 Report of the Ministry for the Environment, have emissions peaking at close to 100 million tonnes CO2-equivalent per year around 2028: a significant increase from the 2012 projections which peaked at approximately 83 million tonnes CO2(eq).
The rise in net emissions, attributed mainly to forest harvesting following very high rates of planting in the mid-1990s, is now projected to begin almost immediately leading to 2020 levels approximately 20 percent above 1990 gross emissions. This contrasts with the Government’s formal commitment declared to the UN in August to achieve a 2020 target of at least 5 percent below the 1990 baseline.
Generation Zero spokesperson Paul Young; “The numbers show as clear as day that our national carbon accounts are in disarray and there is no plan for how to deliver even the modest 2020 emissions cuts the Government has promised.
“The reasons for the increase in projected emissions are not made clear, but it would not be surprising if this were a result of our Government backtracking on climate change policies and letting the carbon price collapse.
“Our Government is fixated on returning the financial books to surplus by 2015, but is showing profound disregard for the hugely important long-term challenge of climate change, despite clear evidence we are not doing enough even by the Government’s own measure.
“The real gravity of our situation is being obscured by commercial forests planted in the 1990s absorbing carbon as they grow, but this is a ticking time bomb for the next generation as these forests start to be harvested.
“The Government is abdicating its responsibility to look after future generations for short-term political reasons.
“To give today’s young people a fair go, we need a comprehensive low carbon strategy including a robust carbon price, transport investment shifted from building motorways to supporting rail, buses and bikes, and an independent climate commission to keep the government of the day honest.”
Report of the Ministry for the Environment 2013 (emissions projections on Page 60): http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/about/annual-report/2012-2013/annual-report-2013.pdf
Report of the Ministry for the Environment 2012 (emissions projections on Page 10): http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/about/annual-report/2011-2012/annual-report.pdf