FIRST Union is concerned that the Emissions Reduction Plan consultation document released today relies too heavily on outsourcing rather than actual emissions reductions.
The measures proposed in the plan are expected to achieve emissions reductions during this emissions budget of 2.6 and 5.6 Mt CO2e; however 2.5 Mt CO2e of that (between 45 and 95% of the entire reduction) is expected to come from the conversion of Marsden Point refinery to an import-only terminal.
"While the Refining NZ Board are yet to finalise their decision on the conversion, it is important to note that it will not actually reduce global emissions - it outsources them to other countries, many of which have lower environmental and labour standards than we do," said Jared Abbott, FIRST Union Secretary for Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing.
"Climate change is a global challenge and all countries have to do their bit. We represent workers in some of the most affected industries, including transport, manufacturing and forestry - and we are ready to do our bit to ensure we get the best emissions reduction plan possible."
FIRST Union’s analysis suggests that refined oil from South Korea - New Zealand’s largest source of refined oil for the last two years - has refined emissions between 16 - 38% higher than oil refined at Marsden Point, as well as likely higher transport emissions, while oil from other Asian mega refineries could be even higher.
"The Climate Commission’s initial draft advice noted that ‘Aotearoa should focus on decarbonising its industries rather than reducing production in a way that could increase emissions offshore’, but that important principle disappeared from the Commission’s final advice," said Mr Abbott.
"Overall we are concerned at the lack of ambition in this plan. Once the outsourcing is removed, we’re looking at a minimal suite of changes. Unless Government commits to an agenda of decarbonising spending, this will be the norm for years to come."
"Yesterday’s financial statements confirmed that this is not only possible but necessary. Our public debt is a fraction of our major comparator countries, and interest rates have never been lower."
"This Government was elected on a mandate to use their balance sheet to address crises like this - it’s time for us to start building a better greener future."