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Climate Change Commission puts $34 billion price tag on needed action by 2035; Says NZ could struggle to access markets, lag technologically and spend a fortune on offsets if investment isn't made

Climate Change Commission puts $34 billion price tag on needed action by 2035; Says NZ could struggle to access markets, lag technologically and spend a fortune on offsets if investment isn't made

The Climate Change Commission says transitioning to a cleaner economy will cost $34 billion over the next 14 years.

The changes it maintains need to be made in the transport, agriculture, energy and waste sectors will shave about 1% off New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year. In 2020, that would’ve been $3.2 billion.

To put $34 billion in context, the wage subsidy cost $14 billion.

The Commission can’t put a price on the counterfactual.

In other words, it can’t say what the financial cost would be of not making the changes recommended in its draft advice on how to meet the emissions reductions targets outlined in the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act.

Speaking to interest.co.nz, Commission Chairman Rod Carr outlined a few ways the New Zealand economy would be hurt if the changes, which he described as being more seismic than the economic reforms of the 1980s, weren’t made.

Countries we export to could turn down our products - either because of consumer preferences or because of government regulation.

“If Europe imposes emissions reduction programmes and costs on their domestic producers, they’re not going to allow the high-emitting embodied products and services to be delivered into that market, so market access is going to be an issue,” Carr said.

Secondly: “If we’re not on the curve and understanding and applying the new technologies, we’ll simply become less relevant as new low-emissions ways of producing proteins becomes available,” Carr said.

“New Zealand didn’t develop refrigeration, but we were an early adopter and a huge beneficiary when we figured out how to freeze meat and get it to Europe.”

Thirdly, if New Zealand doesn’t make a wholesale shift, the country won’t meet the target it set itself under the Paris Agreement - which the Commission says needs to be upped.

Offshore mitigation, or offsetting our emissions offshore, could cost anywhere between $2 billion to over $10 billion by 2030, Carr said, depending on the extent to which New Zealand falls short of its targets and the price tag put on these emissions.

Summarising the caveat around that $34 billion hit to GDP, Carr said: “We do not estimate the co-benefits of that move in terms of cleaner, greener, healthier, more sustainable society.

“And we do not estimate the costs if we don’t move, and by 2035 we find ourselves in essentially, a dirty, low-tech trajectory where we begin to be excluded from the markets we might want access to, and we haven’t got the technical capabilities to use and deploy the new technologies that have become available.”

Is our economic system fit for the future?

Asked whether the Government needs to increase its appetite for debt, given it’ll need to invest more in the transition using tax revenue that’ll increase at a slower rate every year, Carr said the Government’s approach towards debt had “evolved pretty rapidly” in recent times.

“We’ve essentially created unlimited access to credit in the western world,” he said.

“We do need to keep in mind the fact that when we borrow money… even if we never repaid it (and I suspect a lot of what we’ve borrowed is never going to get repaid) it is still going to stop a future generation from borrowing that money.

“There is an opportunity cost…

“So if we use the debt to finance things a future generation will get value from… then they will inherit the debt and a better world. If we borrow the money to prop up old types of technology and business practices that they are going to need to abandon in the future, then they will inherit the debt as well as the need to adopt those lower emissions strategies in the future. That’s not fair.”

Carr also made the point: “Because GDP is a measure of monetised busyness in our economy, it is a proxy for what is taxable…

“Governments find it harder to levy taxes on bad things that aren’t traded in the economy, like pollution. It’s hard to tax pollution until you put a price on it and require people to pay for it.”

What are some of the things needing to be done?

Looking briefly at the impacts of the Commission’s suggestions on different sectors, Carr said it was possible to cut livestock numbers by around 15% by 2030 without reducing milk/meat output.

He said sheep could be bred for the trait of low biogenic methane emissions.

“There’s about a 10% reduction in methane from sheep meat production if you breed for the trait. We’re only just beginning to do similar research on dairy cows, but there’s no reason to believe - with the right research accelerated - that you shouldn’t be able to get there.”

Carr said the Government needs to fund both researchers and farmers to help advance better practices in this space.

As for phasing out gas when it comes to energy generation, Carr said: “We do need to focus on transition technologies that have end dates. The gas industry has quite appropriately argued they can provide a transition technology. Fine. ‘Sign up for the date by which you’re gone’,” he said.

“If we are in a transition to an end date, we need to not invest in new pipes in the ground so we don’t have stranded assets and our infrastructure can reach the end of its economic life.

“And in addition to that, if that sector can develop carbon capture and storage technology and deploy it at the point of combustion, then do it.”

When it comes to the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), Carr said a feebate scheme - such as the one the former government unsuccessfully tried to push through - needed to be investigated.

The Commission suggested looking at ways the tax system could be used to encourage take-up of EVs.

Carr suggested, for example, that a change could be made so that businesses can no longer deduct the cost of buying, owning and operating internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles from their tax bills.

For more on the Commission's draft advice, see this story

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135 Comments

12
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Seems Carr, with some of his dismissive comments had a preconceived "bent" towards decarbonising. A poor choice and hardly unbiased - imo
He's gone after the usual whipping boys - Ag, heavy industry and oil and gas. Very vague on the light vehicle fleet (other than trotting out a feebate), bugger all on electrifying rail and actually using it more for goods transport.
What a waste of money on his salary

I bet he still makes hay with a hay fork

If he does it'd be a better use of his time - do some honest work for a change.

Hope not considered petty detail but cannot help but reflect on a lovely motor lodge we stayed in mid winter region of Wanaka. Water, cooking hob and heating all gas plus the ambience of a gas fire, a lovely feature. To reconfigure all of that it will surely cost more than what is probably viable and the end result will be neither as efficient nor welcoming. So who exactly pays the piper for the god knows how many similar situations nationwide.

Hook, try making sense.

Decarbonising was his brief.

And he hasn't 'gone after' anyone; you are the usual whilpping boys for one reason only; you are the usual culprits.

And don't worry about the money - he must have read my stuff about future energy and the debt-underwrite. He too, doesn't think it will (can?) ever be repaid. That should be food for thought - for those who can think enough to join the dots.

Well you stay in your comfortably sanctimonious energy neutral cave PDK - you're actually starting to suffer delusions of grandeur or are plain just delusional - as most here think. It is the general population and their consumerist wasteful throwaway lifestyle where the quick easy gains lie - but they vote (on the whole) and Ardern and Shaw won't ruffle any feathers there. That only leaves the the bill payers who are a minority and thus (as usual) the whipping boys. You believe what you want - it's a free(ish) world after all

Agriculture, heavy industry (do we have any?) and transport are the easy targets - modern living is the real culprit. What amount of emissions would we save by eliminating international air travel and tourism? I know Covid is doing that for now, but the baseline emissions increase also incorporates pre Covid times. We could do away with race meetings, rugby matches, rock concerts etc and make major reductions, but the public wouldn't accept it. Carr and co have nominated the targets that will be most acceptable to govt, and least contentious to enact. A Tom Scott cartoon from years ago comes to mind- The caption reads " Quick, somebody else do something"

"Decarbonising was his brief"

Well imagine how much we could reduce CO2 emissions if the pollies stopped gasbagging!

True to the old maxim that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, joining the dots is exactly what political myopia feigns to do. There should be a rule that in order to float a progressive 'thought bubble', you have to stipulate directly who will pay for it. I'm all for responsible long-term policies, but nebulous erosion of savings and yoking productive members of society with a heavier tax burden is not a legitimate nor sustainable way to govern a state...

Your last sentence is a walking oxymoron.

Savings are actually hopeful calls on future resources and energy - no guarantee there will be a chair when the music stops.
Labour accounts for less than 1% of energy globally (and therefore, via work, less than 1% of 'productivity'). It is the Fossil energy that is doing the production.
Anything based on draw-down (the State, our urban infrastructure) is unsustainable. Period.
And tax is just a reallocation - self vs commons. A side issue, physics-wise.

More mantra - yawn!!

The Commission suggested looking at ways the tax system could be used to encourage take-up of EVs

In the absence of high fees on less-efficient car imports, we risk turning NZ into a dumping ground for unwanted gas guzzlers from around the world.

Could just tweak the exhaust emissions legislation we already have that everyone has apparently forgotten about?

Sounds great. I can only afford a 12 year old vehicle, and I'm not impressed with the current options for my next purchase in 12 years time.
Most EVs run CV transmissions. These shouldn't be used to tow. We'll need the guzzlers with proper automatic transmissions

I won't touch a car with a CV for an ICE even if I wasn't towing.

My partners car has a CVT, nothing wrong with the newer ones for a grocery getter. Like all new things, generally best to avoid for the first 3 or 4 generations while they iron out the bugs. I'll admit they are not much fun to drive, even in fake manual mode.

Not at all true, most EVs run a fixed ratio transmission, the Porsche Taycan and maybe a couple of other upcoming models have a two speed transmission. None have a CVT that I've heard of.

TO GO WITH a 0 to 60 mph time under three seconds, 750 horsepower, and the ability to refill its battery in just over 20 minutes, the engineers at Porsche gave their all-new, all-electric Taycan a two-speed gearbox. And while that feature is unlikely to grace any headlines, it represents a potentially major shift for the electric car market.

Apart from the Taycan, every production EV uses a single-speed transmission, and gets along just fine.

Haven't seen too many towing a horse float or boat yet though

The Porsche Taycan? Maybe not. But they have a tie-in with Rimac, as does Hyundai, who has a vehicle with a very similar drivetrain coming this year at some point - an AWD SUV being launched mid-month.

How many people can afford a Porsche? Let alone a Taycan. Still EV's are not recommended for towing. My diesel jag SUV can tow my boat from AKL to Welly on just over a tank of gas in under 8 hours. How many times would I have had to top up the batteries with an EV, in normal running let alone towing?
I travelled in a Tesla to Whangarei, made it with 21% charge left, the driver had to go charge up for an hour during the day so we could just get home - missing the activity we there for.........
No thanks

Self-justification, status projected.

Reminds me of a lady I told about having to do this, a decade ago. "Won't work for me, I have to get little ---- to soccer".

Quite. We need to remember we are just a species; habitat, biology, physics and chemistry apply. No exceptions.

Why do we even need to use the tax system, as Rod tells us:

“We do need to keep in mind the fact that when we borrow money… even if we never repaid it (and I suspect a lot of what we’ve borrowed is never going to get repaid)..."

The government should just do a swap-a-car, i.e., an ICE buy-back.

Terry Baucher's article today suggests a buy-back scheme for low income households with old/polluting ICE vehicles (to upgrade to cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles), paid for through changes made to the FBT regime. Regardless how it's paid for, it's a great idea. And how about the government also establish itself as a state vehicle lender with low/no interest loans.

Except there literally are no EVs for poor and low income households and those on the lowest income the disabled there are no EVs at all for the most vulnerable of them. How about learning that first before cutting off their ONLY form of transport to hospital and medical centres, or for that matter their ONLY way to live in NZ at all. Before you start thinking of funding the rich to buy EVs you might want to not can and ban the only transport for the poor and tradies.

NZ produces nearly zero exportable tech for reducing emissions or adapting to climate change.

And the current tech for such things are so uncertain at the moment.

Why does this government seem so hurry and desperate on actioning on climate change?

Pay $34bn for nothing?

Your comment is quite contradictory - waiting until clean tech becomes 'certain' makes us adopters, not innovators.

R&D is something that long-term investors have to bet on when property speculation does not guarantee tax-free returns.

And what make you think NZ has any position in the supply chain of producing such tech?

Ever heard of a company called Lanzatech? We did 'produce' the tech behind it. Not being able to retain its operations in NZ for too long is another story.
Hopefully we don't make the same mistakes with Zincovery.

Mr Carr

What's your view on banks creating currency to fund asset inflation? Since you want a more just and inclusive society? Its a sick joke advocating for the environment while being part of a system that transfers wealth from poor to wealth off.

Oh opps yes sorry that's what your eco crusade will do..

But, but ,but....Look over there!! It's a Climate Emergency!! While the usual suspects continue to enrich themselves simply by nodding their heads.

The only emergency I can see is an economic one.

It IS a climate emergency - it is also a population emergency, a pollution emergency, a depletion emergency and an extinction emergency. Ad an entropy one.

Economic is the least of your worries - money is debt-issued in exponentially-increasing amounts, while the physical underwrite (energy and resources) is depleting volumetrically and degrading entropically. Only one way that ends; two actually; collapse (via disbelief) or jubilee.

We in NZ have always been great at thinking of reasons why things can’t be done and how actions that last more than 3 years are too “long term”. Our existing infrastructure and productivity deficits highlight this approach.

Ok, $34b sounds like a lot to 2035. The converse is can we NOT afford to do this? Ignoring the climate benefits for a moment - what if Australia has greener energy than us? What if Chile has greener milk production than us? What if Indonesia has more sustainable logging practices than us? What if Korea has more sustainable fishing practices than us? What if Irish tourism is cleaner than ours?

In a world where our trading partners get better and greener and we choose to do nothing, we are truely sunk.

Exactly, just from the trade perspective doing nothing about climate change is not a good option.

Doing nothing is a poor choice, but so is doing the wrong thing.

Before you start thinking of funding the rich to buy EVs you might want to not can and ban the ONLY transport for the poor and tradies. Or should the disabled be first on your firing lines along with their ONLY transport option to hospitals.

Income tax should go to 55 cents in dollar for anyone on 60k or more to pay for this. Opps can't do that we just over inflated our assets prices by so much no one can afford anything outside of paying for these now. Good luck on the crusade..just remember governments have to be voted in...put so much hurt on those you expect to pay the bill, you be out in three years. Mr Carr don't comment we not all on seven fiqure salaries.

$34b is closer to a magnitude out. Solar and wind are not disruptive technology. They are more expensive and inefficient vs fossil fuels. There are too many assumptions in his report. I have lived on the mantra 'assumptions are the mother of all f'ups.'

Interested in the evidence that wind in particular is more expensive and less efficient than fossil fuels. The power companies here in NZ are investing heavily in wind at the moment and winding down the fossil fuel plants, despite having a strong profit motive. What gives?

High subsidies on infrastructure by the govt. When you are getting a large portion funded and low cost of land and consenting to boost your assets and profits substantially you go for it. However as you notice the lines and transmission infrastructure does not even get basic needed maintenance and is not subsidised on development. Hence Aurora, Vector etc. Yet with the suggestions in this report the govt will fund a massive redevelopment on transmission infrastructure out of taxpayer pockets into private companies pockets while the private companies can put the prices up massively under the guise of the development to changing market. Who would say no to that... the taxpayers and residential consumers who cannot afford power... no they would not submit to policy reports too cowed down because they are unable to afford bills and working hard.

That is BS. All around the world wind and solar (and sometimes nuclear) is rapidly replacing coal and gas for electricity generation. At the same time the operating costs of EV vehicles are considerably lower than fossil fuel internal combustion vehicles. When the capital costs of EV's reduce there will be a huge market shift. R&D investment, the trajectory of EV battery technological progress, economies of scale and competition means this will happen. The share market has already priced this in...

There's a load of dinosaurs on this website Brendon...

capital costs, market shift, no mention of resource scarcity or the build-energy source.

We built the FF fleet (and infrastructure) incrementally over 120 years. We have to replace ALL of it in 10-15? Have you any idea where the steel and aluminium and copper and lithium and rare earths and synthetic rubber and and and - are going to come from in such quantities per time? Nobody has ever attempted extraction on that scale, and we've already extracted the best, most concentrated stuff; it's scattered entropically.

For many people/households transiting from ICE vehicles to EV bikes/micro mobility devices combined with electric public transport might be the better answer - especially if the resource cost of replacing ICE with EV cars is too high.

Ah yes, the E-bike in mid winter downpour on your way home from work in the dark. So much to look forward too.

It was only fossil energy which underwrote our comfort. If we didn't use it carefully, with an eye to a time without it, so silly us.

And it isn't 'work' that people go home from. Fossil energy does 99% plus of the work done. What they are doing,is something which returns them a socially-agreed amount of proxy for future energy and resources.

Sure I've seen that written somewhere....

Glad to see your mention of Nuclear, Brendon. The single issue with solar and wind is that they are not dispatchable. It's not possible to contract for X gigawatt-hours between 1800 and 2200 on the 15th of April 2021, from either. Hence the conundrum: of the non-FF generation sources, only hydro and nuclear can be relied upon to keep spinning exactly when they are needed. For a cautionary tale, try this little wobble, all up the EU, starting from a blip in Croatia..... (one is reminded of the classic quote - 'It'll be some damn silly thing in the Balkans'.....)

And, glass half full, for all the blather about 'finite resources', the two energy sources - chemical and nuclear - which power substantial chunks of our civilisation, rely not upon El Sol, but on the physical and atomic properties of matter itself. Funny, innit, that both are ruthlessly excluded from discussion, because they subvert the 'we rely 100% on FF' mantra......

High subsidies on infrastructure by the govt. When you are getting a large portion funded and low cost of land and consenting to boost your assets and profits substantially you go for it.

Wind and geothermal is better for the environment than solar which is more wasteful with a shorter lifespan, less power reliability at peak periods i.e. night and more waste dumping. If we put up long life heat reflecting to counter and reverse feedback and looked at greenhouse gas capture (along with blocking the worst i.e. CFCs which are still being released at high rates) it would be doing far more environmental good than heat attracting dark solar panels (also plastic but with rare earth metals needed and wasteful with most failing in a couple of years on consumer side, think all solar gadgets and production levels, the housing ones not lasting much up to a decade with weather and animal/human events, and the commercial ones not doing much better over a decade). In addition for your idea the power transmission network would need to have a redesign to accept more distributed sources at non peak periods and it still would give you neighbourhood power cuts if you are hooked up and still need to pay lines charges. If you want more maintainable long life home systems that do not deplete a vital resource and can be built and maintained from waste products in remote areas (which even most NZ cities are considering the service maintenance agreements can leave you out of power, water or road access for weeks even or esp Auckland) then hydro and wind are your go to. NZ has known for decades how to make these systems out of products most homes regularly throw away. Basic electrical or plumbing knowledge will get you most of the way there, (for any electrical & plumbing in NZ we still need certified profs for sign off and do work anyway but the time needed is small). Plus no need for housing scaffolding and risking costly roof leaks & repairs. After all most NZ roofs need repair/replacement soon or 20 years ago and families can barely afford the scaffolding.

“We do need to keep in mind the fact that when we borrow money… even if we never repaid it (and I suspect a lot of what we’ve borrowed is never going to get repaid) it is still going to stop a future generation from borrowing that money.

Interesting premise from an ex-banker.

Is this a healthy attitude to be conveying to our children/grandchildren - i.e., the future debt holders?

Bit flippant for me.

Actually Kate.. Mr Carr is a current director of the ASB. Almost a potential conflict of interest given the reported intentions today around use of FLP funds by the ASB

WT actual F?

No Kate - he's saying what I've been saying - loudly and longly hereabouts.

Those grandchildren won't be 'holding the debt - this is where LTG gatecrashes his time-line.

You saw my LTG (World3 the Graham Turner update.) Overlay the timelines.

Well, no matter what his brief, to my mind he's being disingenuous without also providing that as an explanation for his 'don't worry about the debt because it won't be paid back' advice.

Time these folks in positions of influence came clean (no pun intended).

$34B is alot to free cash to milk over 15 years for market participants. That's averaging $227M per year and small and large enterprises will benefit from this new opportunity created.

Businesses with large capital should start up ESG related companies particularly in the energy production sector. He who is able to be the first in the market will capture the majority of this lucractive subsidy. The IRR should be adjusted to turn profit only at around the fifth or seventh year to allow maximum goverment funding and subsidies with the end goal of growing shareholders' long term equity while minimising earnings uncertainties.

Small businesses with limited captial should look towards establishing solar related enterprises with strong focus on the residential market and micro businesses. They should also lobby for a licensing regime to lock out those out of job - fly by night solar peddlers from across the Tasman as well as local pop-ups. If the cost of equity is low in leverages, small businesses can move up the supply chain to capture the exclusivity of sole distribution.

Moving forward, $227M per year may seemed under budgeted in the grand view of this newly created industry and the crown has no clue. However, once the infrastructure transformation is in progress, it doesn't matter what the current economics of the industry is, the crown will be locked in to increase their budget.

Wishing all market participants a great windfall.

CWBW that's actually 2.2 BILLION pa, so it's no small bickies - and that's just an estimate. No one can have sole distribution of Solar - it's readily available to import by anyone - if it could be done it'd be happening now. There's already numerous installers.

That's a good reason why current operators should lobby for a licensing regime to raise the barrier of entry.

Highlight consumer safety and infrastructure integrity and reliability during the lobby.

In case you missed it we already have Licensed Building Practitioners and we still get shoddy workmanship, same with licensed REAs and dodgy RE deals, Licensed Plumbers and Gasfitters (two recent cases (one a fatality of a 12yr old) all show that licensing an industry doesn't really do too much
Besides any Solar installation would still need to be done by a Registered Electrician or a Registered Plumber (or both in the case of Solar Water Heating) currently, so the licensing regime already exists.

LBPs a joke. Master Builders a chums club. MBIENZ toothless. Every builder and sub contractor knows they can rip off clients up to around 30/40K and see them off with the current proverbial “see you in court then.” By our family recent experiences, NZ builders are worse than cowboys, by and large. There needs to be a random independent audit system that clients can sign up to prior work commencing, which will to a measure single out perpetrators. Three strikes would be good!

LBPs will take at least 10 years to shake out the incompetents. Its only been going about 5 or 6 years if I recall. I suspect just about anyone who could swing a hammer was given an LBP builder. Only complaints about not adhering to standards or not following a correct design are considered. Evidently some have taken an issue on contractual matters to the board and these have been thrown out.

Just out of interest which company did you use, (even if they phoenixed to avoid debts the records of the company will be available to look up and avoid like the plague, or avoid the franchise if they did not step in).

Yes along those lines the formation of an independent register available to prospective clients would be extremely helpful. The data could be built up over time by a audit of the job, how it went, great or problems etc. If a builder was aware there may be a review in the offing leading to that, then that should temper the misbehaving one would think. Can’t identify our problem company but we were close to court action but our lawyer advised the cost of it would nullify any success. This our builder had calculated.

Ah yes that happens way too often. The cost of legal justice and chasing repayment of damage outweighs the cost you bear from damage. Happened to me as well with a neighbouring developer when their contractors bulldozed through fencelines, land retaining walls, house and decking. Or when one ripped out entire roof unasked with no rain cover and failed to build on a level for anything. It is still a dream of having a review and standards site but then if the cost to legal justice is still too high many have already gone through the emotional catharsis of giving up and settling so the chances of making it to a review site when you just want to forget are smaller. Much like the ACC system for mesh injuries.

you can add the W.O.F. debacle to that list too.

But where's the government subsidy for that? And will all the newly built state houses be fitted with solar as a standard. I mean, according to Rod, money/debt doesn't matter because we're not going to pay it back anyway. Based on that premise, every clean energy application should be subsidised - in fact, why not fully funded, given the private owners are providing the real estate (roof space) for free.

I built our off-grid house (you could still do it then) to a Homestar8 standard, for 50k in 2004/5.

Passive solar works forever, does not need to be 'fitted'. Active solar is good for water-heating, beyond that in NZ the grid makes more sense; community-owned solar and wind are probably best where it is sunniest or windiest (and the grid is nearby).

How about a feed-in frenzy. Free solar panels for all - all connected back into the grid. No need for the government to spend any money connecting Manapōuri to the grid. They get what we feed-in for free and we get reduced power prices.

Don't stop at panels - add in batteries and then the homeowner will be able to recharge his EV with his own electricity and not have to pay the govt anything.

The more you shift energy, the worse the EROEI; there are losses at every shift.

Better to use the hydro-lakes as the grid battery and the EV as your own one.

Someone knows this, hence the dusting-off of pumped-storage.

My thought as well. I suspect battery banks are the most expensive part of a residential solar installation?

Would there be merit in (i.e., is it feasible) feeding in all home-gen in real-time to the grid for free and paying less to take feed when needed as per the way things work at present from the network?

Kate, on the face of it, it's not a bad idea. Unfortunately "peak load" is also minimal solar generation time - morning and evening. Someone would need storage capacity (and massive amounts if it was on a national scale). You could technically use Hydro storage as your "battery" but that doesn't work so well in dry years when lake levels are low and it doesn't really lend itself to large generation swings. Solar really only works well with on-site storage (and it's associated costs of batteries, inverters, grid ties etc)

Thanks for the explanation.

Chuckle - what he missed (and there's always a 'miss' with those types) is that peak load is not a given.

It is the entirely artificial result of our current social habits (we call it working).

Logically, if we have to de-grow and de-consume, we'll be de-working too. It's the only format which fits sustainability. That suggests the historical 'peaks' can be flattened by social behaviour change. Note that those who want the status-quo to continue (in the face of facts) also are the types who don't contemplate such changes.

Degrowth is evil

Kate: batteries for home solar essentially double the cost of the install. Personal experience here. And they are only good for X thousand charge/discharge cycles: 10-12 years max, at around $10-20K a throw at current (sorry) pricing.

Your suggestion of "feeding in all home-gen in real-time to the grid for free and paying less to take feed" founders upon the rock of Competition between retailers. Differentiating usage, hours, fees, feed-in-tariffs, daily charges and discounts is the essence of that competition (which makes choosing a retailer a complex exercise). Your suggestion assumes a single, monopoly retailer, or price and T&C regulation to such a degree that there is effectively zero competition. Not gonna happen.

Wouldn't be so sure - recall...

In April 2013, the Labour Party and the Green Party said if they were to win the 2014 election, they would introduce a single buyer for electricity, in order to cut retail costs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_electricity_market

Instead Labour introduced winter energy payments as a means to lower retail prices - and of course, just like the accommodation supplement that cannot go on forever.

And before we do all of that, or at least at the same time, why don't we insist all houses are built to a better standard (Passive?) so we don't need to use as much energy.

Things like the winter energy payment are only Triage solutions.

Using solar etc. and subsidising energy payments, without at the same time building to reduce the need for active energy requirements only worsens the problem over time. Since many people are in energy poverty, the first thing that happens when you make something cheaper is the energy use increases, and then after that it is wasted in many cases as there is either no penalty for the wastage, or postive for the saving. Many Govt. policies do not promote careful use of resources, except in the form of a tax punishment, which suits the Govt. as this tax is revenue for them.

The present system is self perpetuating.

Wind and geothermal is better for the environment than solar which is more wasteful with a shorter lifespan, less power reliability at peak periods i.e. night and more waste dumping. If you want more maintainable long life home systems that do not deplete a vital resource and can be built and maintained from waste products in remote areas (which even most NZ cities are considering the service maintenance agreements can leave you out of power, water or road access for weeks even or esp Auckland) then hydro and wind are your go to. NZ has known for decades how to make these systems out of products most homes regularly throw away. Basic electrical or plumbing knowledge will get you most of the way there, (for any electrical & plumbing in NZ we still need certified profs for sign off and do work anyway but the time needed is small). Plus no need for housing scaffolding and risking costly roof leaks & repairs. After all most NZ roofs need repair/replacement soon or 20 years ago and families can barely afford the scaffolding.

14
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I've had a scan through the whole draft report, and nowhere do I see modelling that looks at the effect of stabilizing New Zealand's population at around the current level as opposed to growing it at 2% p.a. In fact population isn't mentioned at all unless you're a ruminant. Odd.

Yeah, shows how "pie in the sky" this whole situation actually is. Reduce your emissions by 15% (compared to 1990) when your population has grown by 50% so effectively someone in 2030 has to live with an 65% reduction in emissions compared to 1990 levels - can't see how that's gonna work personally but maybe I'm missing something?

It's hard to make a person understand something when his salary is dependent on him not understanding it

Hook - yes, you are, but that;'s another matter.

The population question is entirely valid - it's why those of us who research REAL sustainability hammer on about population all the time. This is per-head, always was, always is. Less heads makes you more resource-wealthy per head. Which tells you that economists (and the media who regurgitate them) have it 100% wrong when they advocate growth. They're little better than fools.

The energy reduction was ALWAYS the problem - that was why I chose this pen-name more than a decade ago (I wonder how many read it and failed to ask why?). It's the base-line of the only game in town - remember that Carbon is only the exhaust-gas of our energy-burn.

Wow.. so we should be honoured to have the only person in the country who knows what the problem is and how to fix it giving us the benefit of his deep wisdom absolutely free?? Such philanthropy deserves recognition on a global level!! You and H.Clark should get together for a chat sometime.

I think Rod has given us the 'how to fix it' answer!

“We do need to keep in mind the fact that when we borrow money… even if we never repaid it (and I suspect a lot of what we’ve borrowed is never going to get repaid)..."

So the government should buy us all solar panels, retrofit our gas appliances with electric, swap us all out with EVs, and pay the farmers to reduce their herds by replacing their lost income - now. Now, while the money is so cheap to borrow and which will never be re-paid anyway.

Anyone know what's wrong with that logic?

Is your question "whats wrong with that" said tongue in cheek because there is plenty wrong with it. Why not use the money to come up with real solutions Kate

He said it not me. That's my point.

But, given his academic qualifications and past-experience as assistant NZRB Governor, I think he means it. So, my question is real to Mr Carr. And I'd really like an answer.

Lets Go! Handouts for everybody. Just do me a favour, dont complain that rents are going up, caused by the cash sloshing around. You probably think that wont happen

Perhaps PDK in the midst of let’s say, Rio De Janeiro, Mumbai, Beijing, Indianapolis, Tokyo, Santiago could proclaim these fantastic ideals more effectively rather than shouting from the roof tops of a little shoe horn town at the far end of the world.

He's not proclaiming any ideals - he's just telling you what the future holds based on the MIT-developed Limits to Growth mathematical model whose trajectories have been spot on right so far. Nothing to do with CC of course. And my point is - we'd be better off preparing for those forecasts, than for these IPCC ones.

Particularly, given Rod Carr says we have limitless ability to borrow, money/debt which will never be re-paid.

Reality check then. Ideals or not, or whatever, who the heck listens to shrilling from a remote and small nation at the far end of the earth, let alone one spouting individual who may well be exactly right, so much so as per the jumping prophet in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Yes the right tune, the singer is good, but it has to be backed by a bloody big drum to resound where it actually matters. Sure NZrs love to announce, smugly too often, Rutherford, Upham et al, the nation “ punches above its weight” but nonetheless, like it or not, NZ needs the world rather than vice versa and when push comes to shove, NZ is little more than flotsam and jetsam in the wake of how the great nations decide how it best suits them to plough ahead.

I'm not really bothered whether or not the rest-of-the-world prepares for energy-scarcity - we can do it with or without their blessing/support/permission.

But if a guy like Rod Carr - who is a well educated, well-read and influential person - hired by you and me to future-proof us from CC - says the debt we incur today won't be paid back because the MIT LTG model will play out as predicted and global financial/institutional collapse will occur as a result (and debt will subsequently never be paid) - then that should be made explicit in his report.

And I imagine then, what he would recommend that we need to do with the money/debt we borrow today would likely be substantially different than what our climate mitigation initiatives might be. In actual fact, we'd likely be devoting all the monies to adaptation, not mitigation (and less dependence on FF is part of adaptation to an energy-constrained world anyway).

Because if that is his

PDK does know how to fix the problem but nobody is going to listen because it impacts their "Wants" and "Lifestyle Choices". Basically we are doomed. From my observation, most people are already paddling so hard to keep their heads above water this week they are not interested in what's going to happen 10 years time, its about survival right now.

But, it shouldn't have to impact our wants and lifestyles, as according to Rod, “We’ve essentially created unlimited access to credit in the western world,” and that he ...suspect[s] a lot of what we’ve borrowed is never going to get repaid.

He might mean it won't be repaid because no one is left to repay it.

So if people's fate is sealed, damned if they do, damned if they don't, we all know what they will do.

Hook - no. H Clark was part of the UN when they did the SDG's.

There are 17 of them. Sustainability-wise, No's 1,2,3,6,7,9,11,12,14,15,16, are dependent on population curtailment.
Possibly available are: 4,5,10,13,17.
Completely unavailable is: 8.

Look 'em up. Complete bollocks. She had the chance to say something, then or now. Nothing. Worse, her Foundation got into lightweight nonsense (I challenged the rep here, from memory). Maybe she though she was doing as much as she could, given public opinion and inertia. Maybe Carr does too. But we're out of time. Indeed, if you read Catton's 'Overshoot', we've been out of time for 40 years.

I wouldn't say "the only person". He is certainly one of the few that can articulate our predicament clearly. Keep up the good work PDK.

Yeah.
I don't agree with everything he says but he talks a lot of sense.

New Zealand's fertility rate has been below replacement for the last 5 years. Down to 1.63 in the last completed year. If we weren't importing people hand over fist we would start to make inroads into our resource usage per head.

I think I can see a slight problem with the whole de-populate NZ argument. Imagine if we do manage to bring our resource/energy use down to sustainable levels per capita, but also limit population growth. The people who would have come here still have to live somewhere, and it might be somewhere where energy/resource use isn't as low per capita, so in effect we would just be exporting the problem. And it's the GLOBAL account that really matters.
Of course currently kiwis are amongst the highest users of resources/energy per capita so on that basis we should be off-shoring people to more efficient places...

The problem with that argument "people who come here still have to live somewhere" is that we are largely importing people from places with low per capita carbon footprints. The change in location results in their personal carbon footprint trebling or even quadrupling, thus raising total global emissions. ZPG is desirable everywhere, but especially for high carbon emitting countries.

Only because their quality of life is immensely improved. We’d be better to allow many of these people to come here, and scale our renewable energy supply than have them contribute to massive demand for coal. If you take into account that they’d probably have fewer kids too, it ends up being a net reduction in emissions over a multi-decade time scale.

ZPG is bad everywhere.

Agreed. That's why I put the caveat at the end. It's a helluva pickle we've got ourselves in to...
Powerupkiwi might have a point about reduced family size despite the childish username...

So the human population of 12,000 years were far richer than us?

How could carbon-free energy consumption ever be a bad thing?

Well in terms of resources, they were richer. They had absolute freedom also. Something humans will never see again. Of course they didn't have the technology, or need, to exploit that massive resource base, but at least you could measure the global impact of their existence and say they'd be around until the next asteroid impact. The industrial revolution couldn't really start again with the depleted resources we have now.

NZ’s fertility rate is barely past replacement level (which is relatively high for a developed country these days). Much of that growth is coming from immigration. Surely having more people move here from countries which depend on fossil fuels for electricity generation is a good thing

Not really, because it still increases population boom much higher in those other countries as well. Picture this you educate women and they become wealthy and have less kids and encourage family to do so but then most the wealthy women migrate out and there is no impetus on the original population to reduce birth rates or improve the local conditions and resource use the drive is simply to leave by whatever means. As those with educated families are leaving as well so again the birth rate remains high, the people still compete but still for a smaller piece of pie. More resource competition breaks out and more social problems arise, again increasing the birth rate and social harm in a feedback loop. Hence some of the worse racist injustice in the modern era is in countries that are struggling with resources, and high population growth. It will simply become an issue more widespread until the concerns in the country of origin are also made more sustainable and more equitable. Yet as a nation NZ encourages massive trade, manufacturing and production from countries with the current worst record for human rights abuse. Why in this modern time is it suddenly more acceptable? Yet we worry about manufacturers in our own country whether they use EVs or not... It becomes a joke when we move our manufacturing here to countries that burn gigatons of coal and commit acts of genocide. Does NZ really care about the environment and social good when we encourage companies heavily to do that.

12
up

When Carr refers to a 15% reduction in livestock I was hoping this meant people. It would be more beneficial if it did.

Shhh, we don't talk about that. Even if it is one of the major contributors.
If we don't quickly address the population issue, the whole thing is a joke.

A bit like rent controls as a regulatory non-choice; high immigration is a regulatory choice - both made by the same folks that are supposed to be governing of, by and for the people.

We need a 15% reduction in neomalthusians.

A 100% reduction in technoutpians would be more likely to give humanity a timeline measuring longer than decades.

Unfortunately this govt are great at slogans but poor at execution.

I fully expect over the next 3 years carbon emissions to continue increasing and uptake of EVs will remain about the same as today.

They will however successfully run NZ out of natural gas because of their exploration ban meaning Huntly will need to import even more coal from Indonesia to keep up with electricity demand.

The cost isn't the issue, if it where a matter of taxing every man woman and child $6600 ($34bn spread over New Zealands current population) we could do it tomorrow. The issue is that no one will want to live in a country without access to cheap fossil fuel energy, our standard of living would plummet.

We need a slightly better plan than transforming our economy into the Cuba of the South Pacific. This is why all these plans, initiatives and goals fail.

But Rod tells us that the debt will never be re-paid. Hence, given he's the government's expert on this - why don't they (the government) just do the borrowing? Why should the population become more encumbered, as they more than likely, will have to re-pay.

I'm all for the government (not me) going for broke.

Chuckle. It's all in the timing; the whole thing is/was a ponzi (attempting exponential growth on a finite planet always was; money was just forward bets on more growth). So the most likely scenario is collapse following mass disillusionment - but whether the banks collapse first (taking your debt with them) or whether they linger, propped up, long enough to foreclose - that is the 64,000 Calorie question!

My bigger fear is that global war over 'what's left', happens either first, or as a consequence (think Depression/WW2). The difference is that they had enough energy for a re-boot. Without fossil energy, I doubt there will ever be a re-boot. Not enough work do-able, too much entropy to parry.

Or will there be a return to a much simpler society/lifestyle - can we all powerdown peacefully :-).

Given our remoteness, size and relatively temperate climate, here, I think it's a possibility.

More likely an advancement to a more complex and richer society/lifestyle.

Powering down peacefully is impossible. It would put us into a zero-sum situation which neither the local or international community would survive. Let’s powerup peacefully.

More likely an advancement to a more complex and richer society/lifestyle.

Powering down peacefully is impossible. It would put us into a zero-sum situation which neither the local or international community would survive. Let’s powerup peacefully.

Pick one kill fossil fuels and the disabled or think for a second and don't do that.

One also needs to look at the mostly motley crew comprising the Commission. Chairman Carr was an ex deputy governor of the reserve bank. Not aware until a post here that he's also a director of ASB. Then we have Prof Renwick notable Head of School School of Geography, Environmental and Earth Science, a confirmed man made CC advocate. Backed up by a bosom buddy Dr Judy Lawrence from the same university. Not to forget a Maori representative Lisa Tumahai who fills a minority gap. May be just a token representative. Then Ms Leining. Before moving to Aotearoa from the US, Ms Leining held policy positions at the Center for Clean Air Policy, ICF Consulting and the International City/County Management Association. Ms Leining was trained as a Climate Leader under The Climate Reality Project launched by Al Gore. That says a lot. More available from Victoria Uni website.
Last but not least Prof Nicola Shadbolt the agricultural representative and a director of Fonterra amongst others. Out numbered and must have felt a bit lonely. No minority report so she must fallen in line. Hopefully she managed to hold back the others from excesses.

" Backed up by a bosom buddy Dr Judy Lawrence from the same university" .

That's talkback-territory. There are good, bad, and abjectly mediocre in every University. You assess what you see. I've even walked away from Inaugural Professorial lectures thinking 'they didn't prove that'. Mostly they fail because they genuflect to other silos (fatally, when it's Economics).

But she happens to be head-and-shoulders above most of us intellectually; capable of real thought. I'd rate her as a national treasure. Try this:
https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/sgees/research-centres/ccri/events/events-slides/...

It's as near Systems (my area of interest) as you get. We need much, much more of that sort of thing.

Interesting paper. Quite clever on the sea level rise. "Sea level will continue to rise and surprise" No numbers. Just some eye catching pictures. CO2 concentrations. No source. Flicked through the rest. Not terribly impressed.

Nobody is arguing CO2 concentrations.

Except the odd talk-back-level dinosaur. Bit like the flat-earth idea dies out; facts do this to mass misconception over time.

This is a useful presentation by Judith Curry, given during what was headlined as the Curry vs Mann debate on CC;

https://judithcurry.com/2018/06/12/the-debate-mann-titley-moore-curry/

I'm not taking sides - it's all beyond my understanding, but Judith ends with the idea of climate pragmatism which I think everyone should think about.

Judith Curry is a well known climate misinformant. I understand her company does weather forecasting for the oil industry.

'Judith Curry is a well-known climate misinformant.' Read, 'She does not agree with what I believe.'

No, Curry doesn't agree with what scientific facts say. I just follow the science. Belief has nothing to do with it. Currys public comments have been shown to be bunkum! https://www.desmogblog.com/judith-curry

Good paper. Better than the other one. Much more balanced. Mann hockey stick still evokes controversy in the scientific community. Its not all done and dusted among scientists.

Mann's hockey stick study invokes no "controversy" in the actual scientific community. Time has moved on. The planet is still getting hotter because of human activity and all new studies confirm that!

The whole "Climate Leader under The Climate Reality Project launched by Al Gore" is just a money for certificate program. You buy the ticket, you take the ride, then you go home after the movie and continue in the most wasteful high environmental footprint lifestyle ever, but don't forget to stop by the gift shop to buy wasteful goods on your way out. There is more in a community garden to learn then ever taking "Climate Leader under The Climate Reality Project launched by Al Gore" trip. Better green herbs too.

Losing LPG will be very costly for me. I will have to pay to get on grid (expensive) or go solar and batteries (expensive).. But at least i will be able to watch the planes fly in, pumping their toxic fumes directly into the atmosphere and know it was money well spent.

The fact based science based on the Physics model overwhelmingly indicates man made contributions to global warming have a negligible effect. The problem is that the science is complex and therefore not media friendly. Most mainstream media, politicians and general public will avoid it or not understand it thus allowing for the less fact based alarmism to dominate the climate debate. However there is a point (tipping point ) in the near future where I believe these facts and the economic and environmental impacts of the climate change movement will force the UN/IPCC to reconsider its position .I will also say that the non fact based information, is and will divide communities to a point the real emergency will be civil unrest. Because of the economic influence the UN has, many countries will be acting pragmatically to a point and be seen as compliant but I have great faith that our many great non political scientists in NZ and abroad will prevail.
On the many comments that you find on social media, a well seasoned physicist said that unless you have many decades of qualified study in physics, astrophysics, volcanology oceanography etc you will probably struggle to understand the science behind climate related global warming. I am not a scientist just an average kiwi hoping that our politicians have the guts to follow the science and get this right.

There seems to be a fierce need to be myopic re future threats. From all sides - which I find vaguely amusing.

CC is merely the exhaust. Dwindling quality and quantity, coupled with entropy, are the far bigger existential problems.

Seems to be that PDK is on an evangelical mission on the highest plane, dominant numbered idealistic speaker here, this thread. Actually personally remain very much interested in the quality and sincerity of such passion , but it is virtually the seventh day so to speak, time to rest surely?

You see flaws in his comments? Let's hear your counter argument?

In some cases but there is an issue that some species have extraordinary tight tolerances for survival and the feedback loop in past history did lead either way e.g. snowball earth scenario was the reverse effect. If we put up long life heat reflecting to counter and reverse feedback and looked at greenhouse gas capture (along with blocking the worst i.e. CFCs which are still being released at high rates) it would be doing far more environmental good than heat attracting dark solar panels (also plastic but with rare earth metals needed and wasteful with most failing in a couple of years on consumer side, think all solar gadgets and production levels, the housing ones not lasting much up to a decade with weather and animal events, and the commercial ones not doing much better over a decade).