PM Key: NZ move to not sign second Kyoto agreement and set own climate change target about jobs; But, 'our image does matter'

By Alex Tarrant

The government's decision to not sign up to a second Kyoto commitment, and instead set its own climate change rules, comes down partly to the quest for jobs growth, Prime Minister John Key says.

But New Zealand's image was still important, meaning New Zealand still had to do its fair share in the area, Key said on TVNZ's Breakfast programme on Monday morning.

"I wouldn’t say we’re backing out of Kyoto. What we’re doing is going down a track that a lot of other countries – in fact the vast majority – are going down. That’s called the convention track," Key said.

“Next year New Zealand will name a binding commitment to climate change. We’ll actually have a physical rate that we’re going to hit. But instead of being in what’s called the second commitment period, which will likely run from 2012 to 2020, we’ll essentially be able to set our own rules outside that," he said.

"Now, 85% of countries are in that space, including the United States and Canada, and the big emitters like China and India. I think that makes sense for New Zealand to be sitting there. The [other] 15% are really only Europe and Australia."

The government wanted changes to some of the rules governing the Kyoto framework.

"That’s really around land use and things like that," Key said.

“Certainly our view is, we are a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of world emissions. Now, New Zealand needs to play its part. It is playing its part – it’s already got an emissions trading scheme, made quite a number of other changes. We are there doing things about climate change," he said.

“But I think we never want to be a world leader in climate change, we’ve always wanted to be what was affectionately called a fast follower at one point.”

'Image matters, but we want jobs'

The previous Labour government may have put a stronger emphasis on the matter.

“My government takes a view that we want to pay our fair share, do our part, make sure we’re sensible in this area. Our image does matter, and what we do environmentally matters a great deal," Key said.

“But we also want jobs and we also want to make sure that we’re not prioritising that [climate change] over everything else. I think we’ve got that balance about right," he said.

“It’s not like we’re not going to do anything. When we go off to Doha, which is where the negotiation’s taking place now, [Ministers] Tim Groser and Simon Bridges will be arguing very strongly about the sort of changes that we want to see."

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The PM says: “Certainly our view is, we are a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of world emissions."
This statement really shows what Don Key knows about the world. New Zealand 'carbon footprint' (our share of pollution per capita worldwide) is up there with the worst of them. We have a huge footprint for the tiny nation that we are. One could say we are 'Big Foot' when it comes to carbon emissions, not the "tiny, tiny, tiny fraction..." he alledges us to be. He's pandering to his buddies accross the Pacific ocean.
Why do we stand for this? Is nuclear-free New Zealand the next backstep he takes whilst pandering?
What an intellectual difference to our previous PM!

We didnt have any nuclear weapons or power plants either, we still banned them, its known as leadership.
Not so sure its his buddies across the pacific, at least as a Nation, Obama is making AGW noises...maybe its his deluded banking mates that Obama owes nothing to.
JK is I think looking for his core supporters economically he needs to drive to a balanced budget in 2014....Suspect he's desperate to get there, grabbing at everything that helps and rejecting anything that delays that.....
HC v JK, actually no differences IMHO, both them and their parties are in la la land....forget how many houses HC owns, 5?

It is a sad day when we see this level of debate on an issue which demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the global emission issues.
Firstly NZ's net agricultural emissions ( net of the CO2 absorbed form the grasses eaten by our animals ) is roughly half the published figured. We agreed to gross in a mad effort to appear  " green ". There is no debate about the absorption of CO2 by trees which is recognosed in the carbon  credits. Grass is simply conceptually a forest of small trees and a major absorber of CO2.
New Zealand is without doubt the worlds most efficient agricultural producer of dairy wool and meat products. To reduce global emissions we need to expand our farming production at the expense of less efficient producers.  Taxing NZ farmers is the worst possible policy response to global CO2 agricultural emissions. We should be expanding our agricultural production.
Per Capita emissions are a complete nonsense and simply reflect the makeup of the economy. We have a smelter which emits CO2 from the anodes consumed. If we were to shift our smelter to another country global emissions  remain unchanged yet our per capita emissions fall.  Is that really what we want ?  Rest assured - moving a smelter to another country will have no effect whatsover on the demand for aluminium.
Please - if the issue is global emissions then let us make intelligent comments that address this issue.

Grass and trees though only temporally absorb CO2....unless they can be used to permenantly remove CO2? not aware they can be.
No, per capita is good reflects how in-efficient we are...there just are not enough of us.  If others can use less per capita then the Q is  why are we so bad, and that should be fairly easy to address...
I agree it needs a more intelligent look, if the smelter is using hydro and a move to elsewhere sees it using coal thats just nuts globally.

Steven .. we are talking emissions - not storage which is another topic altogether.

You are right, but we are talking about NET emissions. So as grass production and species improve, so do the root systems. For example, most pastures in 1990, particularly in the Hill country were Browntop based, As faming has intensified Ryegrass pastures have become predominant and store up to twice as much carbon as undeveloped pastures.
So if farmers must pay for emmisions from stock, wouldn't it be fair if they were reimbursed for the increased carbon stored on their properties(soil)? So one (emission)can not be divorced from the other (storage)

From the media I have been unable to work out where this leaves the Carbon trading system.   Even a person who is deeply concerned about climate change has to admit that one is a dog.  A polically conceived nighmare ripe for fraud and meddling.   First question  ?Are we still participating in that dog.
2nd question.  I say an allegation that a lot of the carbon credits we are buying, and sending dollars offshore for, are fraudulent.  'Organisations" with collusion by some governments are taking the money, but not performing their obligations.  Are there any references for that one.

The big problem is the Kyoto agreement, the WTO and the UN and have all lost credibility.  Unless you lead from the largest economies and the largest economies don't look at what's in their best interest then is doomed from the start. For example China, Russia want to set up their own WTO run by people who they want to run the show as they don't feel they are listened to enough under the current scheme.   unless we can all work together on this then its a bit of a waste of time , a bit like the EU trying to resolve Greek debt.  Since this is the case we should do whats best in New Zealand interest which include nuclear free, reduce fracking (what chemicals are being used so the public can see if this is a concern ?), ie in the USA law suites are occuring over the chemicals used for fracking.  We need to help farmer to clean up waterways and reduce sewage through government back schemes (funding) which is better for New Zealand short and long term.  The biggest environmental problem the world faces is actually people. The world population has trebled in the last 60 years.  A world reduction in people policy will reduce emissions across the board.

reduction in people policy eh... should we do that with compulsory sterilisation or Hitler-style genocide? >.<

There's always rational ideas like education and birth control - but then that doesn't suit the evangelistic set, eh?   

education and birth control when we give benefits for more kids on DPB or WFF? How's that worked out so far? And what is the evangelistic set?

It's all rather curious from a political/public policy perspective.  Seems to me that there is growing consensus from high profile NZ business leaders that there are limits to growth and that NZ needs to innovate and lead on a global stage with respect to environmental management and sustainability.
For example the Pure Advantage initiative;
And here we have the NZ Institute - just merged with Business Roundtable producing a discussion paper on overshoot scenarios and how NZ might prepare for such (also linked on the Pure Advantage site);
But Groser seems totally unable to reconcile his position despite this high degree of support from the business elite. On the one hand, he seems to be supportive of a need for attitudinal change and responsible global action/responses but then backs away with the 'we can't make a difference' approach;
Quite the opposite to what the business leaders are saying.  And of course then there is the legacy of the highly regarded late Sir Paul Callahan which the government could build on to garner public support for sustainability initiatives.  But as far as this government is concerned, it's clear, as Fran O'Sullivan commented on their election some years ago - economic transformation and sustainability are "out" and competitiveness and productivity are "in";
It's a total mystery - maybe Hollywood's running our environmental policy as well;

Really is this about image? The rest of the world barely knows where NZ is. The country has just one coal fired power station.
Nope it's about govt revenue. Use the weather as an excuse to tax the plebs to try to balance budgets. The govt has finally woken up to the regressive nature of co2 taxation which adversely affects the poorest and weakest, while enriching the oligarchy running the show.
The hysteria this AGW fad created is another monster altogether and has brought environmentalism with its genuine concerns into disrepute.  
No meaningful warming for 16 years. It's time to move on.
Hysteria and Hooton - yep they sure go together.

OMG - who claims not to be a paid tout.
OMG - who just after Sandy, put up a wee thing about Wall St getting back into gear (no worries here, folks, all is good..... - but it's too early in the spin-cycle to separate the storm from the driver))
Then a piece of harder spin a few days later. Professionally choreographed, is that. That's doesnt smack of 'misguided amateur'.
Time some folk looked in the mirror - this is playing russian roulette with the future, and the lead-times are too vast to 'wait and see'. Precaution is the only valid, logical option, those who don't urge it, leave themselves open to being called 'socially criminal'.

Paid, well maybe not, maybe its just vested self-interest....owns shares/pension in exxon maybe.
Misguided, no I cant see it as that...wilful self-determined not to accept.....yet accepts peak oil, appears to be well read in it....strange really....2 totally opposites.
Can but assume Peak oil supports his outlook or him in some way and AGW doesnt.
Socially criminal, indeed and I expect at some stage there is likely to be an accounting.  I just cant see the younger generation(s) looking at a ruined planet, scarce essential resources made harder by weather extremes being very gentle with the likes of JK and OMG.  Hence previous lampposts and rope comments come to mind.....JK is young enough to be around in 30 years...I wonder if he'll be in NZ, it maybe better for him he isnt.
So unless of course you have only a few years left so dont expect to be around on say 2020 or have children who will be....just want the system to last you out....

16 years, well if you pick small parts of the trend since the 1850s, yes indeed you get quiet periods, quite a few of them...its just cherry picking.  Take those 5 to 15 year slices and put them in a chart themelseves however and the rise is clear.
Oh and if the "rich" liked it so much wouldnt their lapdogs the NBR be pushing it? instaed we see the reverse....that shouldbe telling you something.

No meaningful warming for 16 years? Who says that (appart from David Rose obviously)?
Do you get all your scientific information from David Rose?

The heat must be out there hiding deep in the ocean next to Harold Holt and Jimmy Hoffa.

This is the end result of 3 decades of blind ideology; the free market is the divine, infalliable mechanism whereby all things will be fixed.
It's probably washes with the lesser-thinking percentile (as religion did/does) but this is the leader of a nation.
It's pathetic.
Jobs=money, right? Money=the ability to buy bits of the planet, right? But apparently we can stuff the planet, but still buy, and thereforemaking money is more important.
Where's the CSA in all of this, Alex? Did he advise the PM that this was a valid course of action? Or does the PM have a better grasp on the science, enough to override advice?

JK is being opportunist which he has shown he is.  ie The % of americans accepting AGW was quite high until the recession and huge un-employment, that  saw the % plumet....
Which makes no sense really.  You cannot undo acceptance in this unless you are simply desperate.  example, my parents came back from hawaii recently, they commented that there are a lot of 40-70 year olds out working in poorly paid jobs. they talked and these ppl are bitter....I'd guess its a case of "stuff the future and future generations because Im im dire straights".  When in fact they didnt look at what was coming....

Your parents enlarged their carbon footprint to Hawaii!!
Then they are responsible for the certain death of your children - their grandchildren - how do they sleep at night LOL!!

Yes and they offset it with very careful use at home and buy carbon miles to offset ....Oak forest(s) in the UK I think. 
They have been grilled by their grandchildren on it...but had already figured this out....unlike yourself who seems to be in denial...absolute strident desperate denial....
Really makes me wonder on your angle...
PS, Im similar except I have every intention of never flying again (and have not for a decade) and intend to encourage my family also not to.

The last two posters own forests - carbon credits anyone? LOL
For the Sandy shills these make fascinating reading.

Well I dont, and my understanding is you only get the credit as long as the tree(s) cannot chop them down and if they fall down I assume you have to pay that credit back.
Just what is your angle? for supporting such rubbish? 

Alex - please note that I've previously posted a 'retract and apologise' re the OMG persona.
He has been told, quite clearly, here, that our forest was planted initially as a rainforest depletion contribution, and lately we think of it as a carbon sink (They are really one-and-the-same).
He has been told, clearly, here, that we refuse to 'claim' carbon credits, for the same reason that the Key comment is nonsense - this is a physics/chemistry problem, and waving money at it won't change that. We refuse to 'profit' from the problem, given that the spending of said 'profit' would just exacerbate it.
Which makes his innuendo, given what he;s been told, a lie.
I'm not asking for his post to be removed this time; better that others judge his cred in light of the above; but at some point it may get ugly, and I may start to insist that such incorrect assertions be removed.

And your own innuendoes - well actually false accusations that I'm paid??

Indeed, and such of course is a good Q....PDK has stated he makes no gain, and you?
What income are you gaining or defending?
Will you state none I wonder?

None of your business, not that that has ever bothered you slagging off share and property investors who post on this financial website.
Why are you here and what is your motivation?

Right so PDK has stated for the record on financial interest or gain, yet you refuse...
Such posts of course live on.
Im an ex-share investor, I bailed out because I believe I can see the writing on the wall.
Im here originally to learn and debate.  Very few ppl to learn off though and the debate seems to also be of poor or few counter-arguments that hold water though.

what do you mean the writing is on the wall

The share market like the present property market relies on finding a bigger fool to sell to, so its a ponzi scheme/bubble.
My justification is (for shares) look at the P/e ratio, when it takes over 10 years to see a payback with the dividend, if not 20 years then it makes no sense to buy. It gets worse as its risky in a business as usual scenario bubbles always burst. However we are leaving business as usual and heading into shares are based on cheap energy and consumerism as significant drivers of GDP, hence they are obscenely least 75% IMHO....
So they are going to crash and big.
Same with property, but in the future I think property as a fundimantal need will see positive returns again, for those who pay the right amount for the house(s) that is.  Shares I dont think so....some will survive but its just  suicide to stay in them you acant pick winners.
So Im in cash and clearing debt...

I think if you go back to the problems being discussed/addressed in int'l discussions leading up to Kyoto, rapid deforestation of the great expanse of rainforests was the principle concern.  So initially anyway there was a genuine interest in finding a method of incentivising/assisting those developing nations to preserve their forested areas.
The Clean Development Mechanism kneecapped that initial honorable intent;
The developed West has alot to answer for.

Quite right, Kate. It's all the carbon cycle.
Not first cab off the rank, though, but something that has to be addressed. The irony is that all the denial, bar none, is driven by vested interest, and that 'money' won't matter when the screws come on. Sandy already points to a time where insurance won't cope, Munich Re will be an NCEA  historical question, and the rebuilds will not keep up, even as they're competing for the oil in their tanks.
It'sprobably too late, even if Key had the prerequisite moral fortitude; this is a tragedy of the commons, writ large.

Yes, the world will become a different place when individuals start calculating their own risk/return and live/act accordingly.
And of course no one is insuring ecosystem integrity;
That will all be to the government/taxpayer account.

Bloomberg gets it, but then, he's intelligent.
Mr Bloomberg, responding to the devastation he saw in New York City, laid it on the line. "Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not have been the result of it, the risk that it may be ... should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."
As Businessweek (a magazine owned by Mr Bloomberg) put it on last week's cover: "It's global warming, stupid."

Interesting person, ex-republican...what I'd have described as a hard core capitalist type, yet he seems to have moved on.........
Another piece.......
“On the massive balance of probabilities, not withstanding the U.S. phenomenon, there’s going to be a descent of global production and much higher prices, by 2015 at the latest,” Leggett said.
So 2 to 3 years....though an outlier might be 2018....or next year (2013)......
"I asked him if it’s harder for him to persuade people now than it was before the surprising resurgence in U.S. output. Yes, he said. “It’s a comfortable narrative, and people are desperate to believe comfortable narratives. It has set back the perception of the risk.” Dependence on oil and gas, said Leggett, “will blow up in our face.”
Lets see how it plays out....

I suspect we'll see not much [re-]insurance or at a cost that the private insurance industry and businesses wont pay/sustain. I think North Carolina? tried to outlaw AGW and calculating sea rises due to it.  Why? because of vested interests, property developers like Hugh buying cheap land and flogging it off to the stupid....Trouble is nature wont care....those ppl will find they either wont have cover or wont be able to afford it....
Govn acocunt, well the tax payer cant pay it and wont pay it....just look at Chch......

"Yes, the world will become a different place when individuals start calculating their own risk/return and live/act accordingly."
Yes very true...


I think the government made the right decision. This carbon emissions/trading scheme is based on false premises. The earth is not warming, it's cooling down.  They should scrap the carbon trading scam. Just trace the money and see where it all leads to. Probably back to similar types that caused the GFC.

Billy you will find this of interest. The clmate alarmism routinely trotted out by the BBC was engineered by activists and clowns. The BEEB did all it could to prevent this leaking but some clever fellow using the wayback machine has just trumped their team of expensive lawyers. Even the head of comedy was in on the creation of this policy. BBC employee superannuation is invested in green funds and is now down by 2.5 billion pounds. The comments are fascinating. Coming on top of their suppression of child abuse this latest revelation has the BBC on its knees.

This is the HadCRUT4 temperature time series, which is the most recent  and accurate series available. There is no statistically significant cooling trend, despite the misleading "No warming this century" meme.

My comment up-thread stands.
The difference between the contributions of SimonP and Ralph, vs the style of the Hong-Kong horsepoo regurgitator - complete with standard 'attack the messenger' spin 101 - is stunning.
Speaks for itself, really.
Local ocean-research folk are becoming concerned; reckon the sea's capacitance is nearing the end. As it always had to. Compare this to the blitherer above:

For the porcine poo reguritator upthread.

Groupthink occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group 

pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency”, reality testing, and 

“moral judgement”. Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend 

to make irrational actions that dehumanize other groups. A group is essentially 

vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the 

group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for 

decision making.


Some of the symptoms of groupthink are:

• Excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.

• Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not

reconsider their assumptions.

• Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to

express arguments against any of the groupʼs views.

• Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group

consensus are not expressed.

• Illusion of unamimity – The majority view and judgements are

assumed to be unanimous.

• Self-appointed ʻmindguardsʼ – Members protect the group and the

leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the 

groupʼs cohesivness, view, and/or decisions.


Psychologists for Social Responsibility,


I must be prescient, because I predicted that the NIWA case would end with the NZ courts system being accused of having joined in the climate conspiracy!
Prescience, good for me!

Thanks so much, never realised you professional deniers shared a common group think manual! Thanks so much for sharing. Is this the group think manual used by the NZCSC? What about Anthony Watts does he have a copy? Does David Rose use this?

So you have recognised you have a problem and what it is, congrats on the first small step out of la la land.

I can see the anxiety behind your silly group think posts - and have some sympathy towards you. The govt has pulled the rug from under the carbon credit rort and this has devalued your forests. Even if you did not claim credits - now virtually worthless - had they appreciated then the value was baked into your plantings, ready for you to capitalise on in the future. At least now the less well off taxpayer in society gets a break from a regressive tax.

Considering all you do is re-gurgitate propaganda from whatsupwiththat....its almost funny.