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

 

PCE Report needs clarity from government

Forest Owners want clarity for what New Zealand plantation forestry is expected to deliver on climate change targets.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, has just issued a report which downplays the contribution of forestry in sequesting atmospheric carbon, and instead wants to drive down fossil fuel use.

But the Forest Owners Association President, Peter Weir, says Simon Upton is contradicting the Productivity Commission’s report earlier this year which pointed to planting trees serving as carbon sinks as the main means of getting New Zealand to carbon neutrality by 2050.

“The PCE takes a different tack to the Productivity Commission. The PCE makes the argument that long-lived gases from the burning of fossil fuels should be treated differently to short lived greenhouse gases from biological sources.”

“For instance, the Productivity Commission talked about the possible need for up to 2.8 million hectares of new planting to reach carbon neutrality. Simon Upton has a figure of 5.4 million hectares of new trees.”

“That's a very big difference. Both make the current One Billion Tree project aspirations look quite modest.”

Peter Weir says that Simon Upton is correct in that forestry can’t offer climate change solutions indefinitely.

“The industry has never suggested that we are a solution for all time. But in the immediate term we just can’t wait for the development of a political will for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, or the evolution of technical solutions to reduce livestock emissions. We don’t have time for either of those.”

“Fast growing exotic plantation trees are a quick fix for getting our net emissions down in the critical next couple of decades. It’s important in all this commentary also to acknowledge and appreciate the large difference in sequestration rates between exotic plantation forests and indigenous planting. Exotics are many times faster at absorbing carbon.”

“Again, Simon Upton is right when he says landscape transformation has the potential to be disruptive and has to be managed carefully. But he, and those who make policy, should take on board that growing plantation forests is an income generating activity which, certainly for some regions, exceeds that of current marginal farming.”

“Simon Upton is cautious that forestry may have a downside which reduces its value in sequesting carbon. I have a real concern that this is going to be misunderstood in some quarters that we should abandon an expansion of tree planting altogether.”

“It’s great to have the debate, but we do need some urgency in our government producing a carbon forestry policy and a critical first part of that is reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme.”

The President of the Farm Forestry Association, Neil Cullen, also wants the government direction to be clear.

“We have a concern that there is a proposal from the PCE to restrict forestry offsets. If the government decided to follow this and limit offsets to agriculture, then this would have a dramatic negative impact on the value of carbon units, reduce planting rates and perpetuating the seesaw policy that forestry has been experiencing for too long,” Neil Cullen says.

He also points to the Interim Climate Change Panel coming up with yet another set of formulas for addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s time for government decisions.”


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels