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Climate Change Commission publishes its final emissions reduction budgets, noting New Zealand's starting point is worse than expected, so more will need to be done

Climate Change Commission publishes its final emissions reduction budgets, noting New Zealand's starting point is worse than expected, so more will need to be done
Climate Change Commission Chair Dr Rod Carr

New Zealand is starting from a worse position than previously understood when it comes to our carbon emissions.

So, we won’t be able to reach targets quite as ambitious as the Climate Change Commission expected when it published its draft emissions reduction targets in January.

Commission Chairman Rod Carr said New Zealand is going to need to move sooner to do more, even though our total emissions will end up being higher than previously expected.

“We just need to get on with it now,” he said.

This is a key conclusion the Commission reached in its final advice to the Government, publicly released on Wednesday.

The Commission - an independent Crown entity - has been tasked with creating emissions budgets to provide New Zealand with a roadmap for meeting emissions reduction targets decided by the Government and detailed in the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act.

Under the Act, New Zealand has until 2050 to both reach net zero emissions of long-lived gases and to reduce biogenic methane emissions by between 24% and 47%.  

The Government has until December 31 to consider the Commission’s advice. By then, the Government needs to have set its emissions budgets and finalised the country’s first emissions reduction plan detailing the policies it will use to achieve the budgets.

Taking a closer look at the worse starting point we're at, New Zealand in 2018 emitted 70 mega tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The Commission expected this to jump to 72 MtCo₂e in 2019. But it actually jumped to 75 MtCo₂e.

So, the Commission is increasing its emissions budgets by around 2 MtCo₂e a year. This means New Zealand will emit a little bit more than expected in the draft budgets.

This table shows the Commission's finalised budgets using both old ('AR4') and new ('AR5') reporting standards, compared to its draft budgets:

Not transitioning could be more costly than transitioning

In terms of the economic impact of making the transition, the Commission refined its forecasts.

It said making the necessary changes could shave around 0.5% off Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2035 and 1.2% in 2050. However, the Commission was at pains to say that not making the change could reduce GDP by 1% in 2035 and 2.3% in 2050.

It didn’t include this modelling around what would happen if changes weren’t made in its draft report.

Carr said: “The technology and the tools Aotearoa needs to reach its climate targets exist today. Our evidence shows climate action is affordable.”

The Commission said its budgets are paced in such a way that give businesses time to plan, invest and innovate.

“It means business can replace assets - such as coal boilers, gas appliances and internal combustion engine cars - with low-emissions alternatives when they reach the end of their useful life,” the Commission said.

“Businesses that rely heavily on fossil fuels will have to find alternative low-emissions ways of doing business, pivot into new areas or they may also face closure. In these cases, Aotearoa needs to think about the people working in those sectors and how to support them through change.

“Transitioning too quickly could increase costs for businesses that are able to transition and reduce their competitiveness. It will be important to monitor global markets and actions by competitors to understand the impacts…

“The flipside is that a delayed transition could result in businesses missing out on opportunities, losing some social licence and as a result losing access to some markets or to investment. A delayed, but more disruptive transition later could see businesses left with stranded assets.”

The Commission said that "in general" it "prioritised actions that reduce emissions at the lowest cost", but cost wasn't its sole consideration. 

What needs to be done

While it will be up to the Government to decide how New Zealand meets its emissions reduction budgets, the Commission provided a few scenarios around what could be done. It provided this high-level summary of its main scenario:


See the full 400-page report here

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" It said making the necessary changes could shave around 0.5% off annual Gross Domestic Product in 2035 and 1.2% in 2050. However, the Commission was at pains to say that not making the change could reduce GDP by 1% in 2035 and 2.3% in 2050 "
Really ? ? ? Sorry I don't buy into these numbers, best guess best wish !
Let's tidy up our act but without destroying our economy.
We can be a Global trend setter but unless the big economies get on board the difference we make is below the margin of error.
No doubt I will get lots of flack for not being on board with this perceived crisis !
It's just like religion believing in something you cannot see buy having faith, feel the vibe !


Eh…how can we be a global trend setter when we are one of the worst OECD countries in regards to reducing out carbon emissions. Even moving to be only “middle of the pack” would require a massive effort. There is zero chance we become a “trend setter”.

Great to see Labour and the Greens with all their great electric vehicle subsidies to help move our transport in the right direction... Oh wait that money is being spent on a 650+million dollar cycle path for an est 3,000 cyclists over a piece of water.

Or in Christchurch 800 metres of footpath costing $2000.00 per metre. Not yet started. Final cost obviously much more than projected $16 million.

Cycling and walking (electric bikes ) will need to be a major part of reducing the emissions. And the bridge is a redesign of a project started under National.


It seems that it is incumbent on all of us to do our bit. You know, like Winston Churchill extolled during the dark days of WW2. In this regard with much trumpeting and international broadcasting our government famously declared a climate emergency. Presented by our PM with due frowning, gesticulating and so on. Given that, what is difficult to understand then is why this government has sanctioned the construction of a new wide bodied jet international airport on pristine natural landscape in Central Otago. And what is more difficult to understand is why co - declarers, Christchurch City Council could clandestinely commit $45 mill of their hard pressed finances, at ratepayers’ risk actually, to such a project many kilometres from their catchment. Ok if these are the times for a Churchill to rise and lead us, how then does our government reconcile this action to their bold broadcasts about what we, yes us the ordinary folk, have to do. Actually hypocrisy is undoubtedly the only fitting caption on hand. C’mon Rod, show us the real power and leadership, put a rake handle through the spokes of this one then, it’s not theoretical it’s of very big substance in fact. Oh, and by the way, why are Greens MIA.


Making a song and dance about the things we are going to do in the future to stop climate change is simply another form of denial.

It makes everyone feel good that we've made a pledge and have a plan, yet nothing seems to happen.

Nothing happening, isn't the mission statement of Labour to "Promise the world and do nothing"!

Show us your creds and qualifications then

Shoreman - have you learnt nothing here?

Your 'economy' is energy-based. The energy we use, is what is causing CC; it's become global-forcing. And it's finite, and we're halfway through it. The best half is gone.

Worrying about 'your economy' is a tad wide of the mark, in that paradigm. A bit like worrying about taking your collectibles into a Titanic lifeboat. The 'economy' is 100% guaranteed to de-grow from here on, and has indeed been needing 3+ times every GDP dollar in injected debt, to claim growth this last decade. What, exactly, are you wanting to save? And why?

PDK - What have I learned, you remind me of those teachers at primary school/ Sunday school living in the I know best/everything cloud of self acclaimed Guru's on all matters, full of brilliance that other people just struggle to see, so frustrating for you.
I have learned to not pay much attention to people like you, I'm sure you mean well and have a multitude of science to back your position.
Self proclaimed preachers instantly trigger alarm bells for me.
And oh yes I'm a boomer but you probably already new that, 63 years of it. In that time a blink of a eye in time the world was going to run out of food, we were going to enter a mini ice age, trees were going to be destroyed by acid rain, we were all going to die from nuclear war, the world was under threat of meteor destruction and now of course Climate Change is going to get us one way or another right !
One thing in common about all these things is fear, fear fear fear. Just as religion has controlled people around the world for centuries CC is the fashionable choice to inflict fear and control over the masses.
I chose early on to put others opinions to one side, digest options and be a free thinker and you know where that got me , wealth, not just in monetary terms, but freedom from conforming to the stupidity that we humans can dream up.
Science once supported the theory the world was flat, the bible is the science that God is true, we humans are capable of believing anything.
I'm an environmentalist, you know a real one that has a spade and plants trees, 12,000 of them all natives with most of the seedlings grown on site, 8 acres of our 20 acres now in 9 year old native bush and 2 acres of regenerating mature bush, that I walk through everyday that energises my soul.
We all in NZ can improve our environment but not by fear but because we love it and want to hand it on to the future in good shape.
Electric cars are ridiculous, it may be away to make NZ's omissions better but not the world's when taking all omissions into account to make them and charge them.
Equally the likes of solar farms that remove every living tree, plant, animal, insect from the landscape and kills millions of birds from the panel reflections.
The environmental catastrophe looming is dealing with the millions of solar panel and lithum ion batteries in the future, but hey no one talks about that do they, not fashionable.
A few solar panels on homes seems like a good idea along with water collection and storage, basic smart ideas, not radical just good common sense.
Cars, I like Mazda's view, they are developing more and more tech to make ICE engines more efficient taking a holistic view of the polluting effect of a car for it's entire lifecycle.
So in finishing as I look out the window at nature, climate varies constantly, when I was a boy we sometimes had ice on the puddles in winter that does not now happen but who is to say what the right, correct, appropriate temp for say Auckland is ? What we have now or what we had 50 years ago ?
We use to have ice on puddles but we also had regular severe droughts in the 50's, 60's ( born on a farm ).
I have owned a beachfront property for 30 years on the North Shore, don't worry 10 metres about sea level LOL, have to say sea level rise is non existent and the number of tropical NE storms is a fraction of what they have been in the 90's,00's.
I wish you well on your journey, just remember Preaching / making other people wrong is not attractive to anyone.
Perhaps we can agree we all individually can do our bit, plant a tree, grow our veges, recycle, plan our car usage more effectively, don't buy imported jam from the UK, have a consciousness about what we are doing !

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

I'm a little older than you, and well down the 'unload the planet' and 'think for yourself' tracks.

But ecological overshoot aka the Limits to Growth, needs to be addressed; controlled descent is obviously better than collapse/chaos. I've tried to warn politely, aggressively, and all points in-between. Don't really care at this late stage if I offend a tad, and I am well aware that the fact that I've no cancer thus far (of any variant) is no guarantee that I won't in the future. It is 100% sure that entropy will beat me (I will die) and is 100% sure that every day I'm a day closer to that phase-change. Same applies to the Limits predicament.

Obviously not all of society can be 'warners' (Groucho Marx to Warner Brothers circa?) - there has to be a toiling mass and the warners have to be a minority. But they have to be listened to; something the Sumerians, Maya and probably the Easter Islanders overlooked. Perhaps they too, smugged themselves into false-alarm complacency?

Go well

I hate to say it, but no one gives a shit. Housing cost is on peoples minds. If they can print money from their ass, then the day they can give everyone an EV is when we know it's important. Until that day, it's business as usual, chuck another log on the fire.

worse than expected .... Expected by whom exactly certainly not the Public and business who already know not to believe a word of the spin spin spin doctors of this government! Lets try these three things first - as we know they are acheivable

We have unlimited natural renewable energy sources - hydro wind geothermal and great solar in parts of NZ -- yet we still import and burn dirty coal - ?? WTF lets just start with that -- get rid of all imported coal and move to our own renewables

Secondly - spend a little of the 42 billion in the bank on a national bank of charging stations all through NZ to promote hybryd and full EV's

Thirdly -- Change the bloody building code to ensure that all new homes have some form of Solar / wind power and or passive heating designs, double glazing, recycle grey water and have energy/water efficient appliances etc

Some of it is really not hard - and can be done now! 50% grant to retrofit properties with solar and Double glazing for a start -- long way to healthy homes, reducing energy usage and cost to families -- would help with child poverty and health outcomes

WE could use teh intended Billion - and it will end up being a Billion -$$ for a cycle path over the bridge for a start as it would take about 100,000 people a day using it to give even a tiny % of what we could achieve with that money


None of this stuff will work. Electric cars aren't going anywhere in NZ. We are too spread out, lack the infrastructure and the capacity to power them. Besides, for all those who don't have garages, how will they get charged at night, will we be building a charging point for every street based packing spot. No, didn't think so.

I say just ignore these people, be sensible (it is actually common sense not to pollute the environment), but not listen to these morons. If the these bearded silly-looking idiots think there is a massive problem, then let them sit in cold houses and consider the problem and twiddle there silly necklaces. That's all they are going to do anyway.

In the mean-time, just get on with life. Eventually it will dawn on these people that what we are experiencing is probably just cyclical, or caused by something completely different that we never had any control over anyway, and we will just have to adapt.

In the Europe they are adding charge points to street lights so people can charge up cars when parked. We have a lot of catching up to do, not a lot of time to do it and very little funding allocated to make the EV switch.


Electrification of transport is probably one of the easy things, actually.

If you want unrealistic, try electric domestic flights by 2030. Those planes don't even exist yet, much less taking into account fleet turnover.

Yeah for flights between Nelson and Wellington. For that we can just get a glider and a rubber band right.

The Stuff version, perhaps unsurprisingly, may have been misleading. If the goal is to *start* electrification of domestic flying by 2031, then I'm onboard with that goal.

Electrification is incredibly unrealistic for personal private transport since electric vehicles do not exist now even overseas that can transport those with severe mobility issues. So unless you want them all to die in the very near future those people will need to be able to import vehicles modified for their use so they can at least have access to hospital services, education, work and shock horror homes and businesses. You are proposing cutting transport with a gun to people's head and no, it is not realistic to believe in a fairy story that every one can walk cycle or even enter electric vehicles when we have tens of thousands of people in NZ who literally cannot.

yet 90% of journeys are under 10km .... project forward -- think air B and B -- lime scooters -- how long before the main vehicle is EV but if you do have to go on a long trip you simply hire a hybrid for that journey or period -- and it self drives to your home - last 30 vehicles i have purchased for company i run all hybreds -- reduced fuel costs by almost 40% -- paying the difference to petrol only in under 3 years -- many green initiatives are also cheaper and more sustainable --

Are you also factoring in the replacement battery cost and the battery recycling cost ? Pretty sure your break even point is not 3 years. The fact is our cars should be getting smaller not larger. If we had small capacity turbo engines in lightweight cars they would be better than current electric vehicles. The problem is that the car market is consumer driven and they build what people want, not build what they should be driving.

Hybrid cars rarely need their batteries replaced. A Prius battery typically lasts 200,000+ km, and if you did keep your car longer than that you would have easily covered the cost of a replacement battery in fuel savings.

Some earlier electric cars didn't have active cooling causing the batteries to degrade faster in some situations. Older Nissan Leafs could be problematic in this regard. Modern electric cars should also have batteries lasting 200,000+ km. It looks like recycling electric car batteries will be a non-issue, as grid operators will happily snap up batteries with 50% or so of the capacity remaining. There just aren't that many of them yet.

Make sure you include the costs of extraction, refining and transport of petrol which are significantly less efficient than most country's electric grids.

The Suzuki Alto (1 litre 3 cyl non-turbo manual) I have for around town and commuting uses 4.8 l/100ks and was really really cheap to buy.

I'd suggest there is some breakeven point in kms per year at which point a hybrid starts to become more economical than a conventional ice (spark ignition specifically). Its probably not less than 30,000kms/year but i leave that up to someone who has actually run a hybrid and factors capital cost in as well. Also i understand once you get into long distance, few stop starts, hybrids are no better then conventional ICE and could be worse on fuel consumption.

Hi Nigel, long time multiple hybrid owner here; have also kept meticulous spreadsheets of every piece of expenditure on them (and on various ICE-only cars I've also owned ). It's a no brainer to switch to hybrids at well under 30k km per year, especially if purchasing 2nd hand rather than new. A CEO of a small NGO I was able to provide evidence to the board of concrete savings by switching a fleet of ICEs to fleet of hybrids - and that was almost a decade ago.

Re. hybrids being no good on long distances, this is a myth circulating in our media, that is utter b@@lshark. Only someone who has never lived with hybrids, and never analysed their performance in detail would say this. I suspect it was myth generated by an uninformed motor journalist back in the day when hybrids first came out and they were having their first drive of the new fangled thing, and people have just kept repeating it ever since. Every hybrid I have ever driven uses less fuel and is more economical at consistent motorway or highway speed, than in stop start suburban traffic - the same as most ICEs are more efficient when not in stop start conditions.

All vehicles, electric, hybrid or ICE, use most fuel when they are doing stop-start or suburban driving, because it is the GETTING GOING that takes the most energy. All a hybrid does is not throw away all the energy (through heat on the brakes), and re-uses some of it. But it does that on the open road too - the electric component is cutting in and out all the time, decreasing ICE use at 100km/hr, just like it does at 40km/hr.

The short version is: most hybrids are more fuel efficient than most comparable class ICEs most of the time. Yes, I am sure you will be able to find a particular economical ICE that uses less fuel than a particular hybrid under certain circumstances. I'm interested in most of the time - and that's why I've purchased hybrids over the last decade rather than ICE vehicles, and saved thousands of dollars as a result.

I recently bought a hybrid (used), approx 10 years old. It cost maybe $4000 more than an equivalent ICE. Compared to our other car which is an ICE and smaller, so you'd expect better fuel economy, it uses much less fuel, about 4.5 L/100 km vs 8 L/100 km. We drive about 10,000 km/year so I expect to save about 350 L of fuel, or around $700/year, even though it's a bigger car. That gives a breakeven point of just under 6 years. I wish all my investments paid 17%/year

Too early to say if maintenance is any higher as I haven't had any work done on either besides the usual (tyres, windscreen wipers, etc.)

So you believe in a fairy story that every one can walk cycle or even enter electric vehicles when we have tens of thousands of people in NZ who literally cannot. What you are proposing is cutting the life and living of those tens of thousands of people with no replacement transport. Congrats on joining the far right.

Not sure if you're being ironic or what.... I'd love to believe you but no, these are dyed in the wool, die-hard feral zealot hippies in charge of laws and budgets we're talking about. What on earth do you think they're going to do with all that power given the chance? It's curtains for the average punter now.

kpnuts - You are just being to sensible, there is no room for common sense !

These initiatives will seriously impact Iwi who have big interests in farming, tourism, horticulture and forestry.

Exactly. It’s going to backfire big time

It’s the Crown giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

I sincerely hope Iwi fight to protect their hard won economic interests

Iwi fight to protect their hard won economic interests

You do irony well, sir......

Thankfully they are going to start teaching the history of these islands in school soon.

That almost all 'exploration' is resources-per-capita driven? (meaning every Pacific island got overfilled or fought internally)
That the ex fossil-energy carrying capacity of NZ was the population in 1800?
That energy was so scarce that post-battle fresh meat was eaten by way of energy-recovery? (and the woke brigade hide behind 'ritual' without daring ask: why?)
That even at that level of population/consumption, vast tracts got fired, and anything 10kg or over got extincted?

Yep, we SHOULD teach history. What we WILL teach, as always, will be a self-justifying narrative. We never do anything else. Regardless of who we are...

Don't think so. That just wouldn't be woke or fair would it? Iwi will get exemptions don't you worry.

No they won't, there'll be carve outs for iwi of course.

I know populations need a narrative. But one day we'll have to square with reality.

430,000 years of ice core samples show CO2 is a LAG indicator of TEMPERATURE.

"The epistemological weakness of current simulations originates from the fact that they do not rely on
any independent evidence for the influence of greenhouse gases on climate over long enough periods of time."

Yeah, but previous epochs didn't have going on 8 billion humans pouring heat trapping gases into the atmosphere, did they!

Greenhouse gases.... Are.... A.... Lag.... Indicator

Not this time! As the data clearly shows! Through geological history there was no industrial man to trigger increased climate forcing with CO2 emissions. It's not that difficult to understand, is it? Global temperature is rising rapidly. If you have a theory backed with data as to why this is happening, a Nobel prize awaits you. And please. No waffle about Milankovitch cycles! Eccentricity, obliquity, and precession work on time scales of 10's of thousands, to 100's of thousands of years, not decades! Solar activity is constantly monitored and doesn't explain Earth's rapid temperature rise! The determination of some to avoid reality is mind boggling!

Is the "climate emergency" still a thing? I didn't see much additional budget allocated to renewable energy development or electric/hydrogen infrastructure so I assumed carbon emissions had dropped off governments agenda. In fact I think government where still subsidising AirNZ to keep it's fleet ready for the grand reopening to tourism.

Being stuck in New Zealand has given me itchy feet, like many people I'd love to do a bit of flying.


it's hard to juggle the "climate emergency" story with the "importing of record amounts of coal" story.

Let's hope Megan Woods does a good rain dance, lake levels are still low so coal might very much be a feature of next year as well. Industry have already pegged usage back so there ain't much slack.

Perhaps we could have a national campaign asking people to only take cold showers and drink their cup of tea cold?

I don't know about a rain dance, but she might destabilize that plate boundary there in Wellington.

There are thresholds for launching a conservation campaign. We didn't get close, and things have been looking better the last few weeks.

That's just over a week old. I wonder when updated every? and whether it'll take those Canterbury rains into account or maybe the rains not anywhere near the catchment area.


There is no actual 'climate emergency' There is however, the reality of Govt policy.


The lead political party on this non-sense (AKA Labour and Green) fails to acknowledge a single most important principle when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions.

That is any plans on reducing emissions should NOT sacrifice New Zealand's future development and New Zealanders standard of living.

This is the most important boundary and it should never get crossed. It should be the golden rule to assess any plans on reducing CO2 emissions for the sake of 'climate change'.

Good points made. Perhaps NZ should simply follow the examples set by the like of China, Russia, USA, India, Brazil and when we fall behind their progress we can just speed up. After all NZ is very small, very remote, virtually inconsequential, and surely such big players could cut us some slack.

Those excuses of being small don't have a place in a knowledge-driven global economy.

Denmark with its 5.8 million population is punching above its weight on global climate change initiatives. The country ranks #4 in the world in generating cleantech IP and #1 in commercialising and exporting this tech (wind turbines make up their largest export).

Out of 10 top countries leading the world in commercialising and exporting cleantech, 7 have populations less than 10 million.

Don’t know about you, but learnt over the years, those that addressed the little problems first fell well behind those that went after the big ones first. And this what is happening here. The lifestyles and livelihoods of ordinary folk are the easy targets, while the government sanctions the use of billions of tonnes of concrete etc, etc, removal of a great tract of lovely natural landscape, to build a bloody big jet airport. So how much do us the ordinary folk have to tender from our lives, to compensate for that then?


"That is any plans on reducing emissions should NOT sacrifice New Zealand's future development and New Zealanders standard of living."

The logic of Which is why we are stuffed
A turkey wont vote for xmas ... instead its full steam ahead till ecosystem collapse
(which may indeed alter living standards somewhat...)

Indeed. There's no way to improve the ecological situation without reducing consumption and thus GDP (o no!)
Which is why we need a whole lot more thought going into how we can reduce consumption without lowering what you might call the 'real' standard of living, ie. the things that actually make people happy vs. sheer quantity of stuff and energy consumed.

The first sensible thing this goon has ever said.

I wish I could post that picture from space of earth exploding and the astronaut saying 'oh no, the economy'!

Lots of astronauts have "Interest" accounts, it seems.

Holy this article is scary. Might be out of here by 2030

In the words of General MacAuliffe, nuts.

The government will be raking in billions less each year from O&G royalties, fuel excise duties, road user charges, ETS, etc. as a result of the proposed changes.
Add to that tens of billions in lost tax revenue from companies and individuals engaged in dirty economic activities such as international tourism and dairy.

What's the plan to keep the money rolling in to fund the transition? More printing perhaps?


Targets for reducing number of cows?
Controlling population imported and cars purchased?
Pop control is never mentioned but fact is that emissions rise due to more people with more money each year, in NZ and rest of OECD. if you do not get a lower trajectory for pop, then rest of discussion is paltry mitigation.
70% of recent figs for cars bought in Z were big gas guzzlers. No gov subsidy for electric cars or tax on bigger cars. Big talk, little action.


Controlling cow numbers?
Already dropping mate
The problem there is the use CO2 equivalents, not breaking it down in to short lived methane that, yes has a higher warming effect, but is naturally removed from the system after 12 years. So as long as we keen stock numbers constant, the contribution to global warming is net 0.

Perverse incentives: government just encourages companies to plant some shitty pine trees on farmland for carbon credit farming rather than actually think of productive ways to reduce emissions. Taking the easy way out, no surprises there.


None of these targets will be met while the flood of mass immigration continues.

The stupidity here is that this government has issued hundreds of thousands of permanent visas to low skilled migrants who work in industries that the government argues have no place in our economy a decade from now.

A trend handed to them by the previous government, as , I'm sure you must know. Question is, which government would more likely have the balls to change this situation.

Stoking up my Coal boiler today, bloody cold out there.


The beard and neckless says it all.


Not as much as your comment

Our Govt is all talk and little action on climate change. When we can't even start with the basics, what hope do we have? I keep harping on about this, but why on earth are we all still able to purchase plastic straws, plastic produce bags, plastic wrapping, etc? New Zealand's response is lacking - less talk, more action please.

Thanks Rod, if I was zillons of dollars I would drive a nice electric car and only eat the best organic produce available. But I ain't..neither are millions of others, small changes may be palatable, but some of this is just unrealistic.
"The technology and the tools Aotearoa needs to reach its climate targets exist today. Our evidence shows climate action is affordable". To who Rod, those on min wage..i doubt it, we have million dollar houses to pay for now, and sky rocketing rents.

First class problems.

Not having access to a home, no access to work or education, no access to basic medical care and food are a third world problems and sadly all too common in NZ for thousands of people born here. Making the situation far far worse does not make it better.

FCM - to fit within global limits (and there are a lot besides CC) we need less population. Globally, 6-7 billion less. Locally, 3 million less.

Get there, and the housing problem is solved, as are most others. Don't get there, and all other bets are off.

I agree and as said before Covid may of fixed that for you, probably within a year without government intervention. So the cure for your 6-7 billion less was/is here but is not want people want, including yourself I presume.

"The technology and the tools Aotearoa needs to reach its climate targets exist today." Well the fool got that wrong for starters. They propose killing people but saying that is a technology and tool to reach climate targets is a bit much.


De-carbon NZ
This is just my pondering perhaps inconvenient details for nation wide green house gas reduction. The big question for me is how resilience is built in.
The Christchurch earthquakes highlighted the importance of cash for purchasing basics when electronic systems totally fail. But our banking systems and daily transactions are moving further and further from cash. Power outages in cities mean businesses cannot operate because tills, eftpos and computer based operations don't have the electricity supply to function. Traffic lights stop working. A disruption to electricity supply brings at least business function to a grinding halt.
And it goes further. At a smaller scale, beyond the urban 3 waters infrastructure, modern pumped septic tank systems and instant pumped water supplies stop. Heat pumps can't function. The early 90s widespread and heavy snowfall in the South Island demonstrated the shortcomings of such systems that are totally electricity dependent. Fossil fueled generator sets sold out in the blink of an eye.
Recently, we've had the announcement that the old plug into the wall phone system is to be discontinued. About the same time that announcement was made, a fibre optic cable was cut in Napier/Hastings area disabling internet services in a big chunk of Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa for a significant time. If relying on internet based phone systems, then they were knocked out. Access to the 111 center for emergency was compromised.
Some would say, the cell network covered such a failure. But that assumes cell coverage is available. NZ may have 90%+ coverage on a population basis but it is still well below that on a geographic basis. Many rural areas have no reliable cell coverage. And returning to the Christchurch earthquakes, they demonstrated that when electricity supply is cut, battery backup on cell towers runs out pretty fast. Perhaps that vulnerability has been addressed, I don't know. But there's still a long way to go to achieve full cell phone coverage.
In my younger days living in relatively remote rural NZ. Electricity disruption for 2+ days was fairly common. Our home had built in resilience to cope with that - wood fired cooking stove with wetback for food preparation, heat and hot water. Water supply was gravity fed from a 1000 litre plus header tank (albeit pumped from a larger storage tank). Sure, a low pressure water system in the house and no hydro massage shower, but fully functional with that passive storage in the header tank. Septic tank systems were gravity flow to soak lines. Kerosene lamps for light. Yes it was disruptive but only in a minor manner, if care was taken over water usage.
In regard to water supplies to urban areas, I have no idea how long reservoir supplies will gravity feed the community in a prolonged electricity outage.
That's a bit meandering but highlights the interconnectiveness that constitutes resilience.
I don't know how the total energy input into keeping NZ functioning is split between renewable and fossil derived energy supplies.
What I think is a massive challenge to achieving zero carbon in NZ is to provide for resilience in electricity supply and distribution. Because without fossil energy availability, all the energy eggs are in one basket. And when that happens, vulnerability escalates unless adequate mitigation against failure is built in to the system.
I haven't got the answers to what will be, and how we provide, those mitigations.

And the truth of all of that was demonstrated most recently in the Canterbury wild storms and flooding, all of which has had many, many as drastic and devastating events from Northland to Southland and there has not been a decade without one or more. There is nothing separating or sheltering NZ from Antartica and the north is sub tropical. NZ has wild weather, that is as undeniable as is the fact that nature, be it eq’s, cyclones, fire, will easily sweep aside anything that man may build. At that point and at times, as LouB explains, we all need to revert to basic essentials and they need to be on hand.

LouB - comment of the day.

Tainter wrote a book called:

If you haven't read it, do so. Right up your alley. Others are starting to apply complexity theory to economics, but that is too narrow; this is systems-wide. Incidentally, the CCC were told that :)

We seem to be keeping up with the Jones’s, who are our Trading Partners, the EU and USA.
Science and economics have no part in the decision and I can live with that.


I really question if our handful of competing power generators and suppliers are the best arrangement for the huge change required in power generation and supply (a 70% increase in renewable generation in what are very short time scales by past examples of bringing major projects to completion. Dam it this lot can't even build enough houses which is very small beer in comparison.). The gentailer structure makes it even worse. It would be far easier to effect the required changes with a centralized and publicly owned enterprise.

One thought. I see that they are talking about using electricity for industrial process heat. Heat pumps are great for space heating, but not sensible for process temperatures which can require 100 to 200 Celsius. It is hard to see any other sensible way to do this without burning something. We are wrecking our rivers and beaches by flushing thousand if not millions of tones of forestry waste down our rivers. It is perfectly simple to process this raw material into a very good fuel for process heating and possibly even some power generation. It is going to rot and produce methane and CO2 anyway so no additional emissions accrue. There is an operation doing very well with this approach in Otago so it is viable business. The government should be coming down hard on the foresters, (mainly foreign owned) so that they are strongly financially motivated to process this waste.

Yes! The waste after forestry has been through an area is mind boggling, they probably leave behind as much as they pull out.

The other thing I thought about to use for this would be as a biofuel in our country. We could mix forestry rubbish in with this in with our fuel mix and decarbonise at least a part of our diesel fuels. Just googled it, someone has had the same idea:


We are doomed. Anyone who thinks we can reduce emissions and still increase GDP (which is a measure of energy and resource consumption) is misguided. My kids will live to see sea levels a metre higher than now - they won’t by buying in Island Bay for sure.


Dear government and that bearded bloke: NZ is a minnow. It really doesn't matter a jot what we do or don't do. It has absolutely no effect at all. We're not doing this bullshit. Thank you. Signed Taxpayer/Producer


Spot on Mark this is a shoddy piece of nonsense without any proper supporting economic analysis. We are not interested in failed Soviet Style central planning. If implement it will wreck the economy collapse our standard of living for nothing.


The left know their poisonous and envy based socialist policies at their raw heart make them unelectable. They rely on concepts like global warming to justify raising taxes and increasing government control. They know it's just a real life version of Chicken Little at the end of the day.

Yeah, eff the planet, who needs it anyway?

Chuckle. I like it when someone uses economic and analysis in the same sentence....

We need humour......

The planet will be doing just fine and will outlive the human race. In fact the threat to the planet is a super large asteroid or the sun going super nova. Not likely anytime within the next ten thousand years.

It's a very anthropocentric concept that a chunk of rock is "doing fine". Whether that chunk of rock can support thriving human society is a moot point? Perhaps if you're that ambivalent about Earth's capacity to support life, you might find a seat next to Elon?


What I want to see is the projected NZ population. Just imagine if our population doubles by 2050 there is not a hope in hell of dropping to even the current level of emissions. The single biggest carbon footprint is people so the easiest way to drop emissions is to drop the population. Halve the current world population by 2050 and the problem is solved.

Covid could of done that for you


Mark Hubbarb - So well said you have my vote the bearded guy can just f%&@ off somewhere else and try and make a name for himself - Chathams, Stewart island perhaps !

No China’s the place for such huge and persuasive talent isn’t it. That’s where it would really count. Why settle for the small and easy fry. Besides making China conform to said directives and conditions would be an achievement paralleling, in fame on the world stage, those of Al Gore.

That’s right Mr Hubbard, all countries should divide themselves into lots of 5 million people like us, and then no one has to do anything cos we are all “too small”. You know what some folks say in the UK about climate change - that the UK is only 60 million people and they are too small to make any difference.

Good thing we didn’t have allies like you at Gallipoli eh? No no, we couldn’t possibly fight the Germans or the Turks - too small mate.

You're right. Everything we do is wasted.

Also, lived by the sea all my life, there is no change in sea level. Down our road beachfront properties are being snapped up at auction for crazy high prices ... how do you explain that.

By the way, in most countries, an EV achieves carbon parity with an ICE about the time its battery needs replacing. Okay we're hydro, but right now even struggling, Tiwai Point is effectively working around brownouts, yet an EV takes the power load of about 20 houses, I heard yesterday, so when everyone gets home from work and plugs the EV in, where is that power coming from? There's nowhere near that amount of generation coming.

But lets all collapse our standard of living based on alarmism and for sheer symbolism.

Oh, and Gallipoli, really? Because climate change alarmism is like fighting actual Nazis ; oookay ... see, you lose me with stupidity like that.

Actual Nazis at Gallipolli, interesting.

There is that 2050 number again. The world is going to be a Mad Max sequel by then, Climate change could end up being the least of your worries.

We are in deep sh..t
Depending on the scenario displaced people due to temperatures rising could exceed a billion.



We haven't a chance of making it to 2050 intact. Perhaps 2030, but I wouldn't put money on it. My pick is a total meltdown (2008 on steroids, courtesy of eye-watering debt-growth paralleling depletion of all REAL inputs) this side of 2025. Alternatively war(s). There are no viable alternatives, we're too overshot.

Paul Erlich put money on it.

Simon succumbed to Entropy

And you are a spinner.

How are those metal prices doing anyhow? Didn't Simon once say we would make copper out of something else when it ran out? Wonder how the economists working on that project are getting on with their research into generating supernovae a safe distance from Earth?

A first stab at 2050 would be that freedom of movement continues to be curtailed and illegal migration looks something like the Africa to Europe migration occurring at present, shipping continues to be congested and we can’t get our valueless food exports to a vanishing market, just like now..
Our effort in limiting immigration gives us the same population growth as the rate from 2001-2020
Business as usual in other words


That puts you well 'ahead' of Clugston then. I understand entropy, that all work requires energy, that we are in the process of depleting our NNRs, that the global population will keep growing for decades yet-all that, but I am not(yet) prepared to concede that mankind is soon to be reduced to anarchy.
For one thing, we are nowhere near running out of fossil fuels though EROI for all these fuels continues to decline. On p280 of Blip, he lists Conflict NNRs and no. 1 is Niobium. Now, have spent some time looking at it and as i am sure you know, almost all production comes from Brazil-approx. 88%- with most of the rest from Canada. So, the 'extreme' vulnerability shown comes not from any shortage of the metal but from where most of it is. To quote from Nature Minerals; "And the known sources of Niobium which is abundant and used for steel and other alloys, are almost entirely in Brazil". The price has remained stable for some years, though it rose sharply from around 2002 to 2010.
The US for example is well aware of this and indeed, many other minerals. I have seen a 2020 report which identified a total of 23 mineralsas being at risk of supply shortages. This included cobalt, tantalum and tungsten.
I do not believe this issue to be insuperable.

Cheers. You're an interesting person; happy to research, comfortable thinking.

Now add this:

And this:

And Tom's textbook:

Then ask yourself what will shift? The answer is than money is based on faith - nothing more. The reality is that there isn't the physical underwrite - by several orders of magnitude - for the current debt. What speed the collapse when the penny drops (if you'll excuse the weak joke)? Could be overnight, as per nearly in 2008. Alternatively, growing angst drives war(s). No way the extend and pretend can go much further. Sure you're not just wishing for comfort until you leave? :)


'Comfortable thinking'. Somehow, i don't think that's meant as a compliment. I agree that any fiat currency is based on faith. 'When the penny drops'. But we already know this, so what penny will drop and on whom? If it had been suggested say 20 years ago that global debt levels would be where they are today, you would presumably have said then"No way the extend and pretend can go much further".
I don't know how this will play out so perhaps you are right that I am just wishing for comfort until I leave, but what i do know is that however bright and well read you are, you don't know what the future holds either. I think that to live without hope, as you do, must be bleak indeed.

"I am not(yet) prepared to concede that mankind is soon to be reduced to anarchy." Guess the view from comfy NZ might give that impression? Meanwhile a growing section of the planet has, or is in the process of, collapse.

Do we know what the emissions are per capita?

Our emissions are 75 million tons equivalent and population is about 5 million so 15 tons per head.
The USA similar figure is around 10 so we have a problem..
A simple solution would be add cows and sheep to the head count…problem solved.


I despair, "reduce demand for travel for example, through smart urban development". Meaningless waffle. What we have is massive urban sprawl with no adequate planning for public transport. To make matters worse, our best horticultural land is being rapidly swallowed up and concreted over. Just how many of those who now live in Pokeno work there? Damn few, the rest get in their cars and travel to somewhere in Auckland. Some will finally get on a train at Papakura.
Joined up thinking seems to be beyond this or any other government.

Agreed it is the work of academics, collated working in rooms without windows. The hypothesis and assumptions are on a par with a fanciful form three project at high school. It will end up in either the governments too hard basket or will lose us votes basket, probably both.

Better can tourism and all associated businesses now. Why keep them afloat waiting for travel bubbles.

Stop all tourism and travel qualifications as well

I was skeptical - Act and 'good' are pretty uneasy bedfellows.

And I was right.

The relevant book (including reading-level) is: Not I, said the Little Red Hen

Some easy ways to cut emissions. Deport anyone not a permanent resident that reduces the headcount. Put a ban on any migration whatsoever. We're measured on total emissions not per head. Construction produces emissions.

Stop producing food for the third world. Let's see how that works out for them.

Housing problem solved as our standard of living will fall so much well be living g in caves.

To be pedantic we are measured on how well we line up with our trading partners pledges and as of today we have dropped into line.

No we didn't. We made some noises and hot air, but we didn't actually do anything, and we are not likely too.

Our solutions are hopeless. We should be encouraging people to plant gardens, make things at home (massively reducing transportation emmisions, and packaging manufacturing and pollution), and give tax breaks for people that do. We should be encouraging farmers to change farming practices to sequester carbon back into the soil. Our partners are doing that, and it does work (if in fact, that is solving any climate problem whatsoever is a completely different matter), but, it does eliminate the use of pesticides and other chemicals which go into our food and affect our health long term. Farmers should be encouraged to plant some of their lands in native forests, and transition to these farming practices (through tax cuts), which also end up in our argicultural exports being worth more, adding revenue and therefore taxation revenues.

Putting up the price of gas, forcing people to drive electric cars which don't really work that well and cost a lot of money, and people can't afford and don't want is not solving any problem, it just annoys people and so it won't work.

Talking about things with no thought or follow-up does not put us on par with our peers.

The government needs to pay a lot of money to smart people to come up with realistic ideas that actually work and can then be commercialized by the private sector instead of forming working groups whose purpose is to actually do this, but all they ever do is try to ban things and put up taxes. The approach is self-defeating.

You forgot stop breeding.

You can throw your cellphone in the river, you won’t be needing it…

Agree with foxglove & jeremyr. The land the CC Council got for an airport in Otago was overpaid by more than 2x its yalue. This country will be totally ruined by the time this comi GOVT gets to the end of this term. Its all about CONTROL CONTROL.

Apples with apples JR?

I happen to agree with you airport comment - we aren't going to be flying at all, very soon - but how, oh how, do you stretch a bow long enough to include the Labour Government in the same comment?

Unfortunately, we are an overshot species, passing an inflection-point known as 'The Limits to Growth'. The only way for society to negotiate the happening bottleneck, is top-down control. Laissez-faire just chewed up the planet until it couldn't support (as many of) us. So it had to be bypassed.

The alternative is collapse, followed by (very) localism.

Because of this Labour government’s ownership of 25% of Christchurch International Airport that has formulated the proposal and purchased the land. That can hardly have been actioned without the government’s blessing can it. Or if it has, that then would be appalling slack management of the public purse, wouldn’t it.

Anyone else hear James Shaw on RNZ earlier today.
One of his plans was for people to have electric cars and solar panels at home to recharge them in the evening. Maybe Maui is coming back to slow the sun down even more.
No surprises from the commission really. It's gonna have to happen.

Shaw and RNZ. Never listen to either.

That Mike Hosking really knows his stuff.

And the ones who will suffer the most will be those on the bottom of the heap namely those on lowvjncones and the elderly. Everything will increase in cost.

Those deemed living in poverty will increase significantly.

That was increasingly the case under capitalism, as practiced.

Wealth is access to resources and energy. Poverty is lack of access to same. Given the supply reduction, the only way to alleviate poverty is less people. And given the accelerating underwrite reduction, much less people.

So Gates IS working with the Chinese to that end.

Better increase the mental health budget at least tenfold to help all the poverty stricken housebound populace who won't be able to afford to leave their homes.

only in the last 200-year blip, have they stopped being serfs or slaves.

That 200 year blip was fossil-fuelled. So temporary.

Will we support current numbers ex FF? No way, not even close.

The CCC report is already working. Tasman P&P mill is closing. What a blow for Kawerau and surrounds

Oh really? I thought it closed because of years of inaction and underinvestment highlighting our low-productivity economy. Oh wait - that sounds just like our response to every other issue since the 1980s. Climate change, water quality, health care, superannuation, educational achievement, housing affordability, decaying infrastructure, urban planning, income inequality - yup, us kiwis are really good at engaging our brains and managing stuff.

How is it that their reports don’t mention nuclear fission even a single time, despite delusional ideas of biofuel, hydrogen fuel cells, and electric planes.

Because nuclear fission is the most expensive form of energy on the planet and is just a fancy way of boiling water. No one solved the waste disposal process and right now France is confronting having to replace all its reactors built in the 1980s.

Nuclear has been on the table since the 1960s and has failed utterly to become mainstream anywhere except France. You don’t need ecologists to oppose it - economics will do it far better.

I think he meant fusion

Probably because supporting nuclear as the magic bullet, is delusional too?

I hate to say it, but no one gives a shit. Housing cost is on peoples minds. If they can print money from their ass, then the day they can give everyone an EV is when we know it's important. Until that day, it's business as usual, chuck another log on the fire.

I found the reference for my comment that we may see a billion people on the move.

0.17% is NZ's Emissions Footprint! The northern hemisphere is where 90% of the worlds population reside.
They are the largest group of consumers! They then send a lot of their waste to Asian countries to dispose of!
They drive the Manufacturing Emissions in China because of their consumption!

Anybody awake in NZ?

Cycling and walking (electric bikes ) will need to be a major part of reducing the emissions. And the bridge is a redesign of a project started under National.