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The Climate Change Commission's Rod Carr details how & why NZ needs to make fundamental changes to transition to a thriving, climate-resilient, low emissions economy

The Climate Change Commission's Rod Carr details how & why NZ needs to make fundamental changes to transition to a thriving, climate-resilient, low emissions economy

By Rod Carr*

We know from experience that when it comes to our economy, a problem delayed is rarely a problem solved. 

We surely learnt that lesson in Aotearoa in the 70s and 80s – with our delayed action coming back to leave deep scars on businesses, communities and individuals. 

In 1972 Aotearoa lost access to its major export markets when Britain joined the EEC (European Economic Community, forerunner of the European Union) and the first oil price hike was delivered by OPEC, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. We knew as a country our relative wealth was in sharp decline.  

We began borrowing from overseas institutions to maintain the level of income we were used to and to support a fixed rate of foreign exchange to keep the price of imports low.  

Our elected leaders sought to cushion voters from real world changes. We controlled imports, consumer prices, interest rates, rents and access to credit.  

By 1984 we had exhausted our ability to borrow to maintain a fixed exchange rate and the adjustment to a new lower level was dramatic. Farm support was abruptly withdrawn causing farmers to lose their farms, interest rates rose to over 20%pa causing businesses to fail and consumer price inflation reduced lifetime savings to a fraction of their expected value. Unemployment rates rose to double digits. 

With hindsight we could have managed a transition to a lower exchange rate, higher domestic price level and more competitive economy over the previous decade had we initiated a transition plan rather than a politically popular ‘Borrow from the future, defer hard decisions till later and hope better things turn up in time’ strategy. 

Almost 50 years later, we are again facing large scale change – climate change. There is no escaping that we have to make fundamental changes to transition to a thriving, climate-resilient, low emissions Aotearoa. 

This time around however, we are in a better position.  

Parliament has set up a system to guide our transition over the next 30 years, designed to provide a transition that is smooth, well-signalled and well-paced.  

At the heart of the system we have the Zero Carbon Act. It requires emissions budgets and reduction plans, and an independent Climate Change Commission to provide impartial advice in the best interests of Aotearoa and monitor progress against the plan adopted by our elected representatives. 

In its first piece of work, the Climate Change Commission has assessed what is technically feasible, economically affordable and likely to be socially acceptable over the next 15 years. And our results tell us the same thing that has been found in other countries: the costs are manageable, and the opportunities are significant if we use the right strategy and start now. No single instrument, market or regulation is alone enough. We will need to use every tool in the shed and invent some new ones to get this job done in time. 

The Commission has consulted on its first draft package of advice and will hand the final package of advice over to the Government by 31 May. The ball is then in the Government’s court. 

In the 1980s we left it to the last possible moment, forcing abrupt change when all other options had run out. 

We are in the position right now where we can make this transition without unnecessary cost by replacing long-lived assets – things like our coal fired electricity generation, fossil fuel heated buildings, internal combustion engine cars – with low emissions alternatives when they reach the end of their useable life.  

By using the 2020s to prepare the path for the 2030s and 2040s, we can also build the infrastructure, design regulatory settings that work for new technologies and practices, allow markets to develop and mature and develop our low emissions know-how and supply chains. 

It is by harnessing these dynamics, rather than taking a static view of the future, that we will bring the costs down and take advantage of the opportunities to reposition our economy for a thriving, climate-resilient, low emissions future.


*Rod Carr is Chairman of the Climate Change Commission.

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105 Comments

Yes, we are late.
Yes, we need to act.
Yes, we need to aim for resilience
Yes, we need to aim for renewable-only energy

As we do so, we need to note that the scope of the CCC was not wide enough. This transition will be carried out (or not) in the face of growing tensions over 'who owns what's left of the planet', and in the face of almost-certain debt-disbelief (likely leading to financial collapse).

https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/98119/murray-grimwood-looks-how-we-sh...

Agree that the scope was not wide enough. The CCC report seemed mild and achievable and yet more than 80% of global energy is currently from fossil fuels. https://ourworldindata.org/energy-mix. Also a single figure for population was used in the modelling. The recommendations are based on a population of 6.16 million in 2050. (Table 7.44, Evidence Report. Chapter 7). That is a 20% increase over the next 30 years or about 1 million. There has been a 40% increase over the last 30 years from 3.5 million to 5 million. A 1.5 million increase. (Rough numbers).

The CCC report allows for the possibility, that its possible, to pick a dog turd up from the clean end.

"In the 1980s we left it to the last possible moment, forcing abrupt change when all other options had run out. "
And we have done so again....weve missed the opportunity by at least a decade.

I agree,
It’s obvious the commission are still talking 2050 goals when the world leaders are calling for 2030 goals, we are still on the path of too little too late.
I’m amused that they have determined what would be socially acceptable...who did they ask?

19
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Quick question Mr Carr. What's an acceptable level of immigration/population increase for NZ and what are the environmental impacts of reverting to pre pandemic immigration levels? Seems as though the commission omitted this.

If NZ, or any other country, is serious about 'Zero Carbon' it has to start with a population plan - a deliberate plan to stop our population growing. NZ is part of the way there with substantial financial hurdles for couples wanting to start a family - student loans, accommodation costs, childcare costs, etc.

From the link, we see how stupid - and I use the word carefully - even trained folk in one profession can be, when blind to the rest.

and their study, published in The Lancet, projects it will fall below 1.7 by 2100.
' As a result, the researchers expect the number of people on the planet to peak at 9.7 billion around 2064, before falling to 8.8 billion by the end of the century."That's a pretty big thing; most of the world is transitioning into natural population decline," researcher Prof Christopher Murray told the BBC.'

Without noting that we and our societies are energy-dependent, resource-depletion dependent, sink-capacity-dependent, and already-overshot. Spare me. Where's the media? Duh.

Great to see this happening. The population is way, way past the level that the earth can support sustainably and the single biggest contribution that we can all do is to have less children (by a very large margin).
Provided we don't do this too quickly there is nothing to fear because a notable number of the most affluent countries have had falling population for a while.

Indeed. I think we're basing our targets on historic levels when the population was much lower.

Better to tie it to a per head level then apply that globally.

China is still the rogue in terms of not reducing emissions. What are we doing about that? Trade sanctions? Yeah right.

The Zero Carbon Act is a worthy piece of legislation. However achieving 'Zero Carbon' does not put the genii back in the bottle - there will still be 200 years of carbon emissions in the atmosphere so warming will continue. The zero target will have required an heroic thirty years of tree planting but what happens when we run out of land for more forest? Alternate non-fossil fuel sources of energy such as wind farms will be needed to power our EVs, keep our buildings warm, etc but renewable sources of energy release carbon when they are built - eg laying concrete emits CO2.

12
up

So why then do we have a government declaring a climate emergency, seconded quickly and emphatically by the Christchurch City Council, yet both bodies are the financial backers of a new wide bodied jet airport being built on natural beautiful landscape in Central Otago. How much concrete goes into that just for a start. Quite honestly it’s rather difficult to get on board with this save the climate et al message, when our national and local governments act so hypocritically.

11
up

They'll be flying on green hydrogen, don't you understand?

It's all in the Treaty; we just need to be Woked up.........

Which RNZ is doing it's damnedest to do (one wonders whether their fierce big-picture avoidance is being compensated-for with this fierce wokeness - whatever, the result is listener-ignorance).

Auckland council has a climate emergency and a plan to increase fossil fuel transport emissions over the next 10 years. Rod Carr is right to put emphasis on how this issue is tackled - the choices seem to include
1. panic, running around like a headless chicken
2. declare an emergency and then forget all about it
3. change direction - nudging us towards ever lower emissions
4. hope for the best - but do nothing
5. wait for a technological solution - but do nothing
6. pretend there is no problem

Global satellite temp for April -0.05 degrees below the 30 year average - from -0.01 last month and from +0.59 13 months ago. A drop of 0.64 degrees in 13 months which equates to 1/3 of the global warming since the little ice age. 30% of anthro CO2 emitted since 2000 and 21 years later we are sitting below 30 year average. Shoot that messenger!

https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt

or down 0.55 degrees if you prefer RSS data.
http://images.remss.com/msu/graphics/TLT_v40/time_series/RSS_TS_channel_...

profile
Your links are not yet picking up the April data - might need another day.
But this one does have the updated data and includes a nice graphic
https://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/
KeithW

Strange. In the graph Keith links to I see a clear trend of rising temperature anomalies (despite some months being below trend as April is). What are you seeing?

Profile sees what he wants to see. Always happy to quote the data set showing the least warming. I guess the main problem is the data set is not a surface temperature data set, which makes it kinda irrelevant when humans live on the Earth's surface. Surface measurements tell a different story. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/briefings/20210415.pdf

Thanks for pointing that out. How are they defining "lower atmosphere"? It looks like that could include the stratosphere (there's a link to data for that in Keiths link)

I quoted two datasets.
The surface dataset is not global and is prone to urban heat island error.

The urban heat island effect on overall climate change is a denier urban myth. While cities are heat islands, the greatest warming is happening at high latitudes, where there are no cities! "We observe the opposite of an urban heating effect over the period 1950 to 2010, with a slope of -0.10 ± 0.24°C/100yr (2σ error) in the Berkeley Earth global land temperature average. The confidence interval is consistent with a zero urban heating effect, and at most a small urban heating effect (less than 0.14°C/100yr, with 95% confidence) on the scale of the observed warming" https://static.berkeleyearth.org/papers/UHI-GIGS-1-104.pdf

That's Profile for you.

I suggest Interest.co check these folk; few will be unpaid opine-rs......

And then there are other papers that do find large UHI effects. Using satellite datasets you can remove this variation. Note most of the planet is water not land so surface stations are also limited by not being global.
"This paper finds through the method of observation minus reanalysis that urbanisation has significantly increased the daily minimum 2‐m temperature in the United Kingdom by up to 1.70 K."
1.7K is more than global warming since the little ice age so significant.
https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/asl.896

Well knock me dead! A paper that says the urban heat island effect exists. You will note nowhere does this paper mention in its' research anything relating to AGW. That is because that is outside the parameters of the paper! Lets keep it simple for you.
"While urban areas are warmer than surrounding rural areas, the urban heat island effect has had little to no effect on our warming world because scientists have accounted for it in their measurements.
Urban heat islands are not a newly-discovered phenomenon. Using simple mercury thermometers, weather-watchers have noticed for some two centuries that cities tend to be warmer than surrounding rural areas.
Likewise, researchers have long noticed that the magnitude of heat islands can vary significantly between cities. However, they are able to filter out those effects from the long-term trends. Overall, the urban heat island effect has not contributed very much to our warming world. Other human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels, are the main culprit." https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/44/can-you-explain-the-urban-heat-island-ef...

I guess you didn't get around to reading the introduction. "The importance of understanding how these changes will affect the global climate and the potential bias to land temperature records arising from urbanisation has piqued interest in this area of research."

OK. Seeing as you seem to fully understand what the paper is about. Can you explain the conclusion the research reached in the UHI relationship with overall AGW?

Are these monthly anomalies?

The UAH data set has been run by Spencer and Christie, both "experts" for oil funded lobby groups and "expert" witnesses for Republican enquiries into whether global warming is actually a thing. Any work by these individuals needs to be viewed with scepticism! https://www.al.com/news/2020/11/when-trumps-epa-needed-a-climate-scienti...
https://skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Roy_Spencer.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heartland_Institute

You forgot to denegrate the RSS satellite dataset with it's 0.55 degree drop in the same period. How are you going to slag them off?
Personalise and isolate them too?

Why would I do that? As far as I know RSS are not run by climate deniers? Here is Carl Mears, lead scientist from RSS, explaining why satellite data sets are NOT the best representation of what's happening with climate! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BnkI5vqr_0&ab_channel=greenmanbucket

Thanks for the vid. Why is Mears working with dirty climate deniers like Spencer? Is the balloon network run by climate deniers too? What about NASA are they deniers too?
"There isn't a problem with the measurements that we can find," Spencer explained. "In fact, balloon measurements of the temperature in the same regions of the atmosphere we measure from space are in excellent agreement with the satellite results."
https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/1997/essd12mar97_1/

Which satellite results? Version 1, 2,3,4.5 or 6?
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13143-017-0010-y

Odd that you ask this after you posted the Mears youtube where he goes to why versions have to change over time as the satellite mix changes. Which RSS version do you prefer? V3.2, V3.3 or V4.0...? Let me know and I'll post data from that dataset only - as I would hate for you to be inconvenienced by a climate denying or a non preferred satellite dataset.
I guess posting two independent satellite datasets isn't enough. My bad.

Why would anyone bother quoting data sets that don't reflect full real world consequences for humans and the biosphere in general, as explained by Mears?

Palmtree08
Spencer and Christie are quite explicit that they never take funding from the oil and gas industries. They rely totally on their university salaries.
KeithW

Well I guess they must be doing their work for the FF industry through Libertarian think tanks pro bono then? Assuming they are telling the truth, of course? https://www.heartland.org/multimedia/videos/roy-spencer-iccc13-panel-1-s...
https://www.heartland.org/multimedia/videos-environment/roy-spencer-iccc2
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/15/leak-exposes-heartla...

Not true, Keith W.

Firstly, check out the Peabody bankruptcy expose (The Peabody Judge made some prescient remarks......) Secondly, he is an advisor to the Heartland Institute. Thirdly, he got Limbaugh-exposed (think what that linkage took) repeatedly, so income via books and talks is ex-University.

It would be interesting to check out the Uni - given it's Alabama......

Interesting PDK seems to ferreted out this little gem. "The names of a number of well-known contrarian academics also feature in the Peabody filings, including Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Soon has been funded almost entirely by the fossil fuel industry, receiving more than $1.2m from oil companies and utilities, but this was the first indication of Peabody funding. Soon and the Smithsonian did not respond to requests for comment.
Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer, two contrarian scientists who appeared for Peabody at hearings in Minnesota last month on the social cost of carbon, were also included in the bankruptcy filings." https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/13/peabody-energy-coal-...

keep talking nonsense.

NZ is simply not equiped to make any transitions.

otherwise, why agriculture has always been the pillar sector?

It's not about CO2. We could be 'carbon neutral' tomorrow if we chose to be. But where would the social engineering and virtue signalling be in that?
'A recent paper in the American Economic Review reported that a forest conservation project in Uganda managed to sequester carbon for a cost of $US1 per tonne.
At that rate, the electric vehicle fund mentioned above could have removed 19 million tonnes of carbon –equivalent to about a third of New Zealand’s net emissions each year. Previously, we found projects in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest achieving a carbon offset for $US2 a tonne.
But even at a conservatively-high $10 a tonne, New Zealand could offset all its net emissions for an annual cost of under $600 million.
Imagine that: If New Zealand entered a partnership with countries like Brazil and Uganda we would become net carbon neutral tomorrow –not in 2050.'

https://www.nzinitiative.org.nz/reports-and-media/reports/policy-essay-e...

It's called colonialism.

It used to happen physically, now it can happen using other levers.

Either way, it's living off - or at the expense of - someone else. Whether it's an overseas someone else, or a future someone else, that's what you are advocating. Shame on you.

Colonialism is something of an euphemism for invasion. And that has been carried on by humans, and other species too, since god knows when. Before recorded time certainly. A burglary of your house and property taken is little different in intent and result. Not sure how you can denature human nature thus historically embedded and still rolling, when billions are actively ignorant in what they are participating. For instance China has been able to subjugate and condition virtually an entire population now, 70 to 80 year olds and younger, yet this is reportedly one of the most destructive climate regimes that has ever been known. To put NZ into the context of that, a bit like expecting a dinghy to head off an aircraft carrier under full steam. Yes your point is right, the same acquisition ambitions exist in whatever modern form because human nature includes those who will never be rich, famous, powerful enough. There is always a next higher mountain that just has to be climbed because it is there. Why even in the desperate days of World Wars there were those, generals for example, who were prepared to sacrifice men under their command to advance their own career prospects, without much thought to the good of either their nation or the world for that matter.

"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

Profile
The approach you seem to be advocating is asking other people elsewhere in the world to plant trees and we will pay them for that - presumably at the international price. That does not make us carbon neutral.
The cash cost of sequestering carbon in NZ is also very low. It is simply a case of letting trees do what they do naturally. But is only works for one cycle of trees; it then ties up the land forever, and it is essentially short term thinking with a high opportunity cost.
KeithW

Keith
If is is perceived global problem why not open up to global emissions trading? If it doesn't make us carbon neutral why are we paying people to plant trees here? If paying someone to plant trees in NZ is moral why is paying someone offshore to plant trees amoral?
Sequestering CO2, like most things in NZ, is not 'very low'. Cash cost at the moment is 11 cents per litre plus opportunity cost plus reduced export competitiveness. Owners are now cashing in the carbon credits instead of harvesting in blocks less than 100km from ports. Leaving their kids with the carbon liability and fence wrecking old man pines to maintain until the political theme of the day changes. If is not making us carbon neutral why are we locking up these trees, jobs and future landuse?

The problem is that in general humans don't care for the environment, only the profits they can extract from it. Planting pines is not the answer. If we continue on our current path of consumption and resource extraction, the ecosystems that support life will collapse. It's not about trading or offsetting environmental degradation , it's about simply not doing it.

Agreed.

But Mr - and it will be a Mr - Profile is in the business - and it will be a business - of obfuscating, prolonging, twisting.

Yet even the Carr message is orders-of-magnitude gone from where we have to be.

"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

Until we stop valuing the environment in dollar terms, we will stay trapped in the traditional economic mindset of exploiting everything for a quick buck

Perhaps try this nifty environmental performance index so you can get away from your 'exploiting everything for a quick buck' narrative and look at environmental performance from a different angle?
https://epi.yale.edu/downloads/epipolicymakersummaryr11.pdf

Pretty nifty alright.

Countries that extracted their wealth pre-environmental awareness and regulation = good.
Countries that are trying to do so by those same methods = bad.

I'm sure those living hand to mouth really give a toss about your yale framework

People do care about the environment. As countries get richer their environmental performance improves. Being dirt poor is bad for the environment. Check out that handy chart. 'First, good policy results are associated with wealth (GDP per capita), meaning that economic prosperity makes it possible for nations to invest in policies and programs that lead to desirable outcomes. ... In this regard, indicators of good governance – including commitment to the rule of law, a vibrant press, and even-handed enforcement of regulations – have strong relationships with top-tier Environmental Performance scores.'
https://epi.yale.edu/downloads/epipolicymakersummaryr11.pdf

"People do care about the environment. As countries get richer their environmental performance improves."

You clearly havent thought through what RICHER means
It means a claim over future resource use
The opposite of environmentally friendly

People bascially care about getting themselves a higher standard of living (and shifting the problem out of site of their gated community...)
Anyone who thinks living standard is not directly correlated with resource use and pillage is delusional

I suspect PDK's family and mine have similar standards of living (roughly average for NZ). I suspect his family use minimal resources but mine doesn't. I know my kids buy take away pizzas frequently and they switch on heaters while leaving windows open, etc. Therefore at a family level living standards are not directly correlated with resource use and pillage. I am happy to accept there is a general correlation but not a direct one; we do have the ability to change.

you have to think more generally in terms of what constitutes an income or a wage ... tough to have one without someone somewhere drawing down on a resource base

ultimately being Green = no need for a bank account

Rich countries employ the not in my backyard environmental management strategy. By offshoring their pollution, they can feel good about themselves and sleep well at night consuming the same amount knowing that some 3rd world country takes the hit. So now that the rich countries have had their prosperity by destroying ecosystems, they all of a sudden want to tell the developing nations they have to fit their economic endeavours into the "environmental performance framework"? LOL.

Ban on oil and gas exploration in NZ is case in point. Economic growth as we know it is diametrically opposed with sustainability.
How is infinite economic growth sustainable? answer - it's not.

Your offshoring argument doesn't stand up to scrutiny. "Here's an environmental story not many people know about. Between 1990 and 2008, US manufacturing output grew by one-third. Yet air pollution from US factories fell by about two-thirds
...And what he found was that the decline in pollution wasn't driven by offshoring. US factories were genuinely finding ways to cut emissions. In fact, the industries that saw the biggest drops in pollution intensity actually grew as a share of output."

https://www.vox.com/2015/2/8/7999417/US-factory-pollution-offshoring

Air pollution is only a fraction of environmental "performance". Even your cherry picked article supports the offshoring argument.

"Other studies have found that both the US and Europe have indeed "exporting" more and more carbon dioxide emissions to countries like China. In other words, we're consuming more and more stuff made in China, which causes their emissions to grow. Levinson's paper doesn't necessarily contradict those findings about carbon outsourcing (one looks at domestic production, the other at consumption habits)"

More stuff consumed = more pollution. Pretty simple

"Other studies have found that both the US and Europe have indeed "exporting" more and more carbon dioxide emissions to countries like China. In other words, we're consuming more and more stuff made in China, which causes their emissions to grow. Levinson's paper doesn't necessarily contradict those findings about carbon outsourcing (one looks at domestic production, the other at consumption habits). What it does suggests is that the factories making all that stuff can get cleaner — the world doesn't just have to keep shuffling pollution around indefinitely."

Pays to read what you link.

The most polluting industries have indeed gone - it was just a business case decision, the same as the one which led to the demise of F&P (as a NZ manufacturer). You opt to go where the regulations are slackest, the labour most repressed.

Conflating CO2 with pollution. CO2 doesn't kill people.

Mr Profile has just gone through the entire comment section, adding 5.

Who pays you, Mr Profile?

And in the existential sense, CO2 is indeed pollution.

"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

I'm an individual Kiwi.

Who can think.

And you are bleedin' obvious.

I repeat the question: Who pays you?

Tell that to the Indonesian submarine crew

Profile
A global emission trading scheme operating in isolation from other carbon policies allows the wealthy countries to pay less wealthy countries to bear the burden.
When companies like AirNZ and their passengers take part in offset schemes it does not make them carbon neutral. It simply means they have paid other people to sequester the carbon to compensate for their own emissions.
If the offsetting occurs overseas, then it does not contribute to NZ's overall carbon budget and it won't contribute to NZ's Paris commitments.
KeithW

But is only works for one cycle of trees; it then ties up the land forever

I put this argument to a forestry investor (one member of a consortium purchasing a number of large blocks land for conversion) and he said that they were planning to claim credits for the first 10 years only (on establishing the new plantings); then the second decade no credits would be claimed/sold (?) and on harvesting the forest after 30 years - then first 10 years of growth/credits would pay the cost of harvest and replanting. Then rinse repeat? Can't say it made any sense to me.

Kate,
No, they cannot 'rinse and repeat'. For production forestry, they will be able to clam the carbon credits for the first 17 years of the first cycle but then nothing thereafter.
KeithW

Yes, my understanding as well. It very much sounded like a carbon farming conglomerate with a scheme aimed at (somehow) getting around that issue (or at least convincing investors that there is a way of making it work)!

We needed to have a water pollution commission. Not that climate change is not real, or that it is not significant or etc. But due to the simple fact that despite all our best efforts, and undergoing all hardships that would entail, it is unknown that any real gain is to be made in the global inventory of GHG (GHG emission is a global phenomenon, so our achieving our objectives can end up with zero impact on GHG in the atmosphere if other players do not achieve).

How much additional nutrients we put in our water ways is squarely in our own hands, how much harmful chemicals we put in our soils is totally under our control, and the ecological gains in soil and water quality directly associated with any efforts and sacrifices.

One may say that we must pursue all of the above. but our approach in terms of how we are allocating our resources does not show such an approach. And for reasons explained, if we need to priorities how we spend our limited resources, we are much better of to spend it on something that we have a control over.

I've always been of the opinion that if we seriously clamped down on (i.e., actively and appropriately regulated) pollution of our waterways, including the re-establishment of what were once wetlands and re-forested marginal agricultural land in natives - then our climate targets would all be met as a consequence of those actions on their own.

I'd far rather make ecosystem improvement payments to landowners to undertake those actions, as opposed to incentivise them to convert land to exotic pines and/or dairy (which is what we've been doing for the past 30-odd years).

I would agree with you. It is hard to imagine a country that is a good guardian of its waters and soil, and continues to pollute the air. And burning coal pollutes the air you and me breath. But the obsession with counting carbon seems to be detracting us from some real, measurable, achievable targets.
What will happen if we stop using nutrients and pesticides in such an uncontrolledly manner? we probably end up reducing the intensity of our farming, or do stuff that consume less nutrients and pestisides which will reduce GHG emission.

Kate - that is conflating two different issues.

Yes, we need to reinstate wetlands and biodiversity. But the word is reinstate, and the reason is 'because it was de-instated'. So that little exercise has to be sheeted-home to those who did the de-instating, or those who inherited the de-instated land (farmers, often, who see it as a way to 'make money' but who see it as it is now, not what it was).

That is entirely separate from mitigating the stuff we dig up and burn. You're cross-purposing.

And if we address both, properly, we are looking at a very different social construct. Which I suspect Carr doesn't want to address, but which we're out of time for addressing.

Thing is, pdk, I don't know how you reconcile the fact that we are out-of-time with respect to reversing the warming effects of fossil fuel burning on Earth's atmosphere with also supporting regulatory initiatives based on a flawed carbon offset model? Why not just drop the Paris ruse and get on with greening NZ - especially if in doing so we meet the non-binding int'l target as well.

"Almost 50 years later, we are again facing large scale change – climate change. There is no escaping that we have to make fundamental changes to transition to a thriving, climate-resilient, low emissions Aotearoa. This time around however, we are in a better position. "

Naïve in the extreme
Thriving (read ever higher consumption) is the polar opposite to low emissions ...
Thriving is the opposite to increasing the Debt load (promises about greater resource use in the future)
We are in a far far far worse position
We have used / degraded far more resources while increasing population & debtload
And now we have leveraged the future to zero interest rates

Whatever the climate Change commissions report says, I dont believe it

The whole direction the Zero Carbon Act and the ETS changes are taking us in is an amazing example of bureaucratic extend and pretend.

"" bureaucratic extend and pretend"" - is that an original phrase? I like it and will steal it.

Not original - used all the time in discussion of Realpolitik, normally in reference to QE initiatives.

All I here is the sound of sheep, baaaaaa baaaa baa

Withdraw then...

Excellent

And apologise

For what?

oh you are a dag

Reduce climate emissions while at the same time pushing for a population increase?

https://www.cecc.org.nz/CECC_Public/Resources/Update_Magazine/Q_A_with_D...

Yes, economics-trained people can be reasonably intelligent but they're still going to make stupid statements. Goes with the (willfully blind) territory.

Doesn't make him wrong about Climate, but that link proves he's just as blind as most economists, most of the MSM and most politicians about the Limits to Growth:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800919310067
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2021/03/textbook-debut/

Read both, and realise why we need a correlated approach.

Population increase in a finite space=less resource, or declining resource quality=lower standard of living. There are only so many giant flat screens that will fit in a shoebox and do they really add to quality of life?

It pays to keep a rational and objective view in these matters. For example

1 Fossil fuels can be used very efficiently to generate power, capture and sequester all the CO2 produced, by burning the fuel in a gas turbine arrangement with pure oxygen, supplemented with recycled CO2 to moderate the high temperatures. The exhaust gasses are water vapor and pure CO2, which is readily cooled and sequestered in exhausted natural gas fields. Pilot plants are achieving over 50% efficiency.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876610211001019

2 In a world where about 88% of the electricity is generated from fossil fuels, mostly coal, just adding electric cars will not reduce carbon emissions without out a wholesale commitment to changing the existing power generation methods. Some numbers:
fossil fuel power generation 38% efficient
Grid 90%
Battery 85%
Car mechanicals 90%
Gives an over all efficiency of less than 27% from fuel to wheels. Barely any different to a conventional IC motor car. Compare this to the Toyota Hybrids which are achieving 36%. VW have achieved 45% in research projects. For most of the fossil fueled power generating world, Hybrids may well be a far better option until the power supply systems have been improved. We are lucky in NZ so we can charge ahead with EVs and the relatively easy transition to 100% renewable power generation.

Developing countries will end up with lower living standards due to energy poverty - as will we.

11
up

Still beats me that we can't cure homelessness, child poverty or cancer but we can beat climate change - with a tax.

Good point.

This is terrible article, & demonstrates RCs MO.
The use of analogy to 1980s & UK entry to EEC is terrible misdirection, and has nothing to do with climate.
An analogy is no substitute for critical reasoning. Its a tell for persuasion & propaganda.

Critical thought is abscent in RCs work (& remember the problems extracting RCs assumptions).

An example of critical thought one would expect is:
https://youtu.be/vDNSnMTem98
Bjorn Lomborg.

One more question. A few years from now, if we come to a new scientific understanding that the climate is driven primarily by solar forcing and that the impact of aerosol emissions by humans is negligible, can we use gas to heat our water again?

"if we come to a new scientific understanding that the climate is driven primarily by solar forcing"?
Care to elaborate what you mean by that? Are you suggesting that currently scientists don't think the climate is driven by the sun?! Or do you mean "climate change is driven by variations in solar forcing" which has been debunked so many times?

The answer (to can we use it again?) is, irrespective of the denial; ........ NO.

From the perspective of future generations, each litre of oil, each cube of gas and each ton of coal, is a one-off. If you burn them, nobody else can burn them. Ever. And if you're not only denying them the chance, but you're also failing to mitigate in a precautionary manner (because you want to use than energy yourself, too), well, I hope you're not a parent. Although you are quite apparent.......

I'm assuming that was aimed at the comment above...?

Interesting question you pose? Do scientists know climate is primarily driven by solar forcing? I would say they probably do. Unless their PhDs were from Trump University that is. I'm guessing they also know that CO2 in the atmosphere slows heat loss to space? More CO2 slows heat loss further? More CO2 is in the atmosphere because human civilisation is a heat engine, burning whatever is handy, including geologically stored carbon.

Agree. If we cut to the chase, the driver of increasing CO2 is digging up and burning fossil fuels. Any tree planting / carbon credits / changes to farming etc are just smoke and mirrors that will make no permanent difference.
The only thing that will halt it is to leave the carbon in the ground, and I haven't met anybody who thinks the world would do that. We might slow down the rate of extraction so it takes longer to get it out, but the final result must be the same.

I wish all these eggheads could be sacked. Fix all the obvious wastage first. House buyers having to buy 1-2 hours commute to work. Ghost houses rotting away while new houses built.

That comment was about housing. Should have been on another thread? And it was wrong anyway.

For the record, the more people you cram into a space, the more you go up, out, or both. The 'up' people need fed and supplied from 'out', so it all boils down to population vs space. Too many people = long commutes. There are a couple of other misassumptions you will have made (as will some like Carr) in not understanding what 'work' is. The follow-on is where (and if) it has to be done, distance from home thereof.

Waste of time and money this zero carbon nonsense. Will screw the economy for no tangible benefit. Predictions of doom and gloom on the climate front from about 1980 keeping getting pushed forward. Its always if we don't do anything now something will happen in 5-10-20 years. The climate doomsters are still at it.
I'm certainly not taking up the new religion with Arden the high priestess and Shaw the high priest.

Your 'economy' is screwed for many more reasons than Climate - it's only our exhaust-pipe. It's the tank you should be worried about - it's down to fracking, which you don't stoop to if you have better options left,,,,,,

What do you mean "nothing left"? Dried cow dung is great for boiling the Thermette!

100% agree and we need to look much more carefully at the politics behind those that paint carbon as such an issue.

Carbon isn't an issue til you burn it. Weird how some believe physics is a political issue? Although in saying that, physics does seem to affect some of a certain political persuasion in a psychological sense.