Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


NZ emissions trading scheme is failing but could be fixed

New Zealand emissions trading scheme is failing but could be fixed

January 10, 2014

New Zealand’s initial attempt to mitigate the problem of climate change is on its last legs, a University of Canterbury (UC) forestry expert says.

Professor Euan Mason says the Kyoto Protocol, which we ratified in 1997, bound New Zealand to keep its net emissions at 1990 gross emission levels between 2008 and 2012, but also tied the country to particular patterns of thinking about greenhouse gases.

With a unique emissions profile, New Zealand could offer the world valuable solutions for developing nations if only we would accept the opportunity. New Zealand’s greenhouse gases emission profile is closer to that of a developing nation than a first world one, and so solutions that work for us might also work in developing nations.

Professor Mason, of UC’s School of Forestry, has seen large numbers of seedlings (Eds: see photos attached) which were grown in response to our emissions trading scheme and then were recently destroyed with herbicide in a nursery because they went unsold during the 2013 planting season.

``These two-year-old seedlings were grown in anticipation of a well-functioning emissions trading scheme,’’ he says.

``Instead we have an emissions trading scheme which is supposed to do the heavy lifting in New Zealand's climate policy but could not lift one dry Weet-Bix out of its box.

``Forestry could easily make us fully greenhouse gas neutral while solving erosion problems and improving profitability of our hill country farms, but for this we need a rational approach to emissions trading and commitment from our populace.

``Our emissions trading scheme is failing to change behaviour, partly because of low credit prices, and partly because we have taken a piecemeal approach to implementing it.

``Credit prices have dropped because we allow unrestricted imports of hot air credits from eastern Europe.

``The piecemeal approach to our emissions trading scheme, in particular the total exclusion of our agricultural sector, has further reduced its effectiveness and its credibility.

``By excluding agriculture from our emissions trading scheme, we give a free ride to the very sector that emits more greenhouse gas than any other single sector in the country.

``Surprisingly, New Zealand could be completely greenhouse gas neutral between 60 and 100 years by planting radiata pine on approximately 2.4 million hectares, which is nine percent of our land area, or more than doubling our current plantation area of our marginal lands.

``To promote this kind of solution along with reductions in emissions we need a higher credit price, which means no more hot air and all sectors in the emissions trading scheme.’’

Professor Mason says New Zealand has so far failed to respond adequately to climate change and our emissions are among the fastest rising in the world.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news