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Climate Change Costs

The Climate Change Commission has released its 180 page Draft Advice for Consultation.

It talks about the “need to change how we get around, and rethink what we produce and how we produce it. (The) need to reconsider what we buy, what we do with what we have used, and how we can reuse more of what we have left over.” All within a framework that says it is now time for accelerated climate action.

Behind every decision we make in life, there is a balance of cost and benefit. Does the benefit outweigh the cost? Regarding climate change, we constantly hear that we in New Zealand need to do as much as possible and as soon as possible, despite only producing approximately 0.10% (1) of world wide greenhouse gas emissions.

This report proposes:

  • phasing out imports of light internal combustion engine vehicles 2030-2035.
  • that by 2035, 69% of imported heavy trucks are to be electric.
  • average household travel distance per person can be reduced by 7% by 2030
  • no further natural gas connections to the grid, or bottled LPG after 2025
  • closing some geothermal power generation plants
  • the rapid expansion of renewable wind and solar generation in the 2030s
  • building new electricity generation and transmission infrastructure in the 2020s
  • closing methanol production
  • dairy, sheep and beef animal numbers reduced by 15% by 2030
  • transforming dairy land into horticulture, at a rate of 2,000 hectares per year from 2025
  • planting 300,000 hectares of new native forests by 2035
  • planting 380,000 hectares of new exotic forestry by 2035
  • reducing the total amount of organic waste going to landfills by at least 23%

So is the cost of these changes to our lifestyles and community worth the climate change benefit? This is the real question we should be asking ourselves - not just accepting the draft document.

New Conservative believes our effort should be put into developing new solutions to ensure we have drinkable water, fertile soil and breathable air. We should allow our scientists and researchers the time and space to find and implement these new solutions.

As New Zealand’s emissions are such a minor part of the total world emissions, we ask the government to pause and consider what is actually best for our country, and allow our researchers to do their stuff.

(1) Source for NZ emissions:

https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/02/greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-country-sector

0.17% 2016

https://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=booklet2020

0.10% 2019

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