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.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news