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

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news