a shit climate target for NZ with an even shitter plan for [not] achieving it

a shit climate target for NZ with an even shitter plan for [not] achieving it

turn on image viewing to see this image

Not only have an NZ government once again avoided taking climate change and climate science seriously by dismissing calls for a scientifically conservative -40% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2020 – their plan to “reduce” New Zealand’s emissions by only 10-20% by 2020 is so riddled with emissions trading loopholes that it pretty much equates to completely ignoring New Zealand’s actual domestic emissions by paying for under-developed countries else to do it [in theory, not even in reality] instead.

Climate minister Nick Smith says that the target will be achieved by a mixture of domestic emission reductions, the storage of carbon in forests, and the purchase of emission reductions from other countries.

Heres the so-called domestic “reductions”…

  1. a $323 million home insulation and clean heating fund to insulate 180,000 homes over four years
  2. a new Centre for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research
  3. incentives for new energy technologies like sustainable biofuels, electric cars and solar water systems
  4. Resource Management Act reforms and a National Policy Statement to support renewable electricity generation.

Lets translate that then…

  1. Its a nice idea – but this is just a crap version of what the Green party were given to shut them up about the first draft of the ETS. Unfortunately unless you have a spare $5K lying around you wont be able to afford to take advantage of it. In any case it will do so little in the big scheme of things it makes Climate Change look like something that can be fixed with quick trip to Mitre 10.
  2. A new think tank to help Fonterra build and package “science” advocating bionic mutant cows and justify bullshit about how farmers should be given carbon credits for sequestered carbon in the soil that they were forced to destroy by using Fonterra’s corporate farming models.
  3. Incentives for companies to greenwash us out of giving them any more shit about how they’ve caused climate change.
  4. Reforms to a useless process that keeps disaffected people in court and under the thumb of whatever company their $2000 legal battle can remain preoccupied with as they slowly but surely burn out under the pressure.

So what about the forests…
Aside from the fact that planting trees to stop climate change makes about as much sense as drinking seawater to stop rising sea levels, the NZ delegation to Kyoto have been extremely busy opening up another massive loophole within the Kyoto process – its called REDD, or reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation . REDD is shaping up to be the biggest loophole for helping big polluters / governments avoid making any real changes at home. Essentially, REDD will allow countries to purchase the Carbon stored in massive areas of rainforest in developing countries rather than actually reducing their own emissions. REDD will have devastating knock-on effects for indigenous peoples who have lived in relative harmony with these natural systems – in many cases its likely to result in mass forced removal of indigenous peoples from their homelands and the replacement of old growth rainforest with devastating monoculture plantation forest.

Despite two decades of international negotiations, empty talk of carbon neutrality, a shortlived moratorium on new fossil fuel power plants that didn’t work anyway and an emissions trading scheme that “isn’t designed to reduce emissions” and in any case won’t. Successive New Zealand governments have utterly failed to put our interests above that of the big polluters that are causing the problem. A quick glance back at the history of the movements that changed the world from the revolutions of 1968 to the anti-nuclear movement in Aotearoa gives us some clues about how and where change really happens – it happens in our minds in our lives and most importantly, it happens on OUR streets. Let us quit looking up to our glorious leaders for answers – Its time for us to look beyond the climate policy paradigm and across to each other instead.

Everybodys doing it

The links below contain several recent articles outlining how Aussie, UK and U.S. Emissions Trading antics are nothing but attempts to pull the wool over the eyes of those calling for climate action in these countries. This can help us see what NZ is looking to stitch itself up with and why not only is a 10-20% target entirely inadequate, but the carbon trading loopholes being blasted open within it are going to make tackling Climate Change even more difficult.
if we want reductions in greenhouse gases – we’re going to have to do it ourselves.

Get Involved!
Aussie ETS will delay the transition away from a fossil fuel economy
UK carbon budget: offshoring emissions reductions
Carbon Trading: flaw at the heart of Democrats’ climate bill
A short pamphlet about Emissions Trading
only YOU can stop Climate Change



Posted on 10 August, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s