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2020 target talks draw numbers

Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, July 8th, 2009 - 13 comments
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Seems the Government’s public consultation over an emission reduction target for 2020 is having quite an impact. Hundreds of people have turned up to the Wellington and Auckland meetings, with some  rousing presentations (see haka at the end) and a general sense that it’s time for a bold target to be set.

The consultation is being held at breakneck speed, with one and a half hour meetings in nine centres over the course of 10 days. This, the short notice given to the public over the meetings, and the Government’s generally defeatist attitude to tackling the issue of climate change is pissing some people off

Talk from Climate Change Minister Nick Smith tends to centre around the price we’ll pay for taking action on climate change, but fails to mention the cost of doing nothing or little.

One person who’s picked up on one element of that cost is our own Whale Rider, Keisha Castle-Hughes. An open letter from Ms Castle-Hughes to John Key appears in today’s Samoan Observer paper, which, with luck, was delivered fresh to Key’s Apia hotel room this morning.

See here for remaining meeting dates, times and venues for the consultation.

13 comments on “2020 target talks draw numbers ”

  1. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 1

    KCH is just an actor who would not know shit from clay, like Lucy Lawless as well. They will want to hear what they want and propaganda from Greenpeace will have given them a load of lies to tell the ‘sinking nations’. The earth has been cooling for about 10 years now and this despite CO2 rising 5%. The cost of doing nothing will increase the temp three tenths of sweet bugger all. The cost of action will cripple the worlds economies for decades for no change in temperature. However, people like Al ‘Fat’ Gore who has staked his business on regulation taking effect will rake in billions of dollars as he has taken a position in the market spreading his own brand of propaganda.

  2. Bill 2

    If governments are arguing that capitalism cannot withstand or accommodate a 40% reduction in CO2, then that’s okay.

    If science is arguing that CO2 levels are going to wreak havoc on climate and on bio-systems etc….that the world we know cannot withstand capitalism’s CO2 emissions, then that’s okay too.

    All we have to do dump capitalism. Simple.

  3. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 3

    Dump capitalism – exactly my point, a lot of the climate change stuff is about politics. Dump capitilism indeed, lets go to the dirty communist system where we have no rights and pollution as well as no one has the in-centive to be clean. Communist China’s emissions are now worse I thought?

    BTW, I have the perfect system for the environment, survival of the fittest, the starving die. This is what biofuel generation from crops will achieve anyway.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Dude, get a clue.

      1.) Capitalism is destroying our environment – this is not up for debate any more. The world has got warmer over the last ten years, not colder. That’s why there’s almost no ice left at the Arctic and the Antarctic is losing ice at and increasing rate – so’s Greenland. This has all been measured and proved.

      2.) Communism doesn’t remove rights – the USSR, China and other so called communist countries aren’t communist. This can be determined by their level of democracy. Communism requires, absolutely requires, participatory democracy.

  4. Sounds like Nick Smith is finding this whole consultation thing pretty uncomfortable. Setting a target of 40% by 2020 would be great – but really the bigger question is “how the heck would we even get close to that?”

    As far as I can see NZ’s emissions come from three main sources:

    1) Energy generation
    2) Transport
    3) Agrictulture

    We can probably do something about reducing energy generation emissions by building more windfarms and – crucially more baseload renewable power generators like geothermal and tidal power in Cook Strait. This might mean we’re able to close down Huntly Power Station – what would that reduce things by?

    Regarding transport, I actually think there’s masses we can do to reduce our CO2 emissions, although unfortunately the government is dragging us completely in the wrong direction by investing $27 in state highway building for each dollar spent on new public transport infrastructure. Steven Joyce & Nick Smith might go on a bit about electric cars, but they’re a red herring – unlikely to be mainstream any time soon unless the government starts subsidising their sales BIG TIME. If we are to reduce transport emissions then I think we probably need to stop building more roads altogether, and throw all our “new infrastructure” investment into public transport, walking and cycling initiatives. Oh, and get A LOT of electric buses. Quickly.

    Which leaves us with agriculture. Clearly to reduce our emissions by anything we have to do something about our agricultural emissions – but what? I guess we can throw money at R&D and we’ll probably get some good outcomes, but will that actually reduce our emissions any time in the next 11 years? Unlikely.

    I’m all for a 40% reduction by 2020, but we must realise what that will actually mean. It will not be business as usual by a LONG stretch.

    • gingercrush 4.1

      OOh you write sound so eloquently Jarbury.


      Another thing New Zealand could have no carbon emissions yet we’re still stuffed because of countries such as the United States, China, Russia and India.

  5. gingercrush 5

    nd what do you replace it with? And how do people get incomes?


    Demeter do you support Greenpeace’s/Greens 40% by 2020? Personally, I would rather we go with an a goal that is achievable. I don’t even believe Greenpeace members or anyone else really think we can cut emissions by 40%.Or what that will do to people’s incomes. Undoubtedly, there needs to be a cut in greenhouse gases. But surely it should be a target that is achievable. You don’t even get Greenpeace saying what we need to do to cut that 40%. I do like the idea of splitting greenhouse emission targets with a different target for agriculture. That makes natural sense, particularly when we’re the sole country that has to do agriculture.

    I think a cut of 30% for general emissions is much more achievable with a 10-15% cut in Agriculture emissions. Though even at those targets. How exactly do we achieve this? Planting more trees won’t solve the problem in 10 years time. New technology won’t solve the problem by 10 years time. Even putting all people on trains (which will never happen) and limit flying substantially won’;t solve it. Hell shifting all electricity into renewable sources won’t get us to the targets set either.

    For Agriculture there has to be a cut in herd sizes; farmers growing more trees, more productivity per cow; and getting more money per milk kilo than they are currently. That requires Fonterra and other milk producers turning most milk into value-added products that are less susceptible to commodity pricing. Of course Farmers are reluctant to lose control of their shares but at the same time don’t have the resources necessary for Fonterra to fundamentally shift away from commodity products.

    And so Greenpeace believes 65, 000 signing a petition of 40% cut in reductions to 2020 is a great thing that shows New Zealanders want to see such cuts. But when members of that same organisation and the Green Party are quite happy to ignore over 250, 000 that signed a petition about smacking. Its hard to take them serious.

    Of course really National only has to cut emissions by 1% of 1990 levels and we will have done better than Labour.

    • jarbury 5.1

      Good points ginger – the discussion really does need to be about “how would we achieve this?”

      Just about everything National proposes as their policies in other areas, like lifting the moratorium on new gas & coal power plants or their retarded 1950s transport policies, seem to drag us in the direction of even higher CO2 emissions – the complete opposite of whether we’re arguing about 20, 30 or 40 percent reductions.

      Nick Smith knows this. He knows that Steven Joyce will laugh at him if he asks for transport to cut its emissions by 30% over the next 11 years. He knows that Gerry Brownlee’s pandering to the Oil & Gas industry means that emissions from power generation are likely to increase further, not reduce.

      Even with all of Labour’s rhetoric about carbon neutrality emissions increased rapidly over the past decade. With a few exceptions, National really don’t have their heart in issues like this so don’t even bother with the talk – how the heck can we expect things not to get even worse with these guys, let alone turn things around and drag them back in the right direction quite significantly in the course of ONLY ELEVEN YEARS.

  6. Greenpeace (not alone in supporting the target: see Oxfam, WWF and 350.org’s target policies) admits that yes the target is ambitious but that that’s what the science says we need to do if we’re to avoid catastrophic climate change; you can’t actually negotiate with the climate, let’s do what’s necessary not what’s easy and convenient etc etc.

    And they reckon there’s stuff we can do about farming. They put the massive increase in the sector’s emissions down to the increasing use of chemical fertiliser and the resulting emissions of nitrous oxide (which now make up one third of all ag’s emissions in NZ). Supposedly cutting down on nitrogen fertiliser will automatically reduce emissions. They’ve got a special website section about it: http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/smartfarming/

    So do i support the target? i support whatever target is going to ensure the survival of the 50 per cent of species worldwide that are at risk with current emission levels, that’s going to help our farmers avoid prolonged drought year after year, that’s going to prevent another Katrina and that’s going to mean Pacific Islanders get to keep their homes and culture. So yeah, if it has to be 40 per cent by 2020 then i back it. I’m going with the scientists on this one, not Rodney Hide. Not to mention the fact that i back any target that’s going to see NZ retain its reputation internationally and not look like a fool and laggard.

  7. outofbed 7

    Been to the chch one tonight about 250 people 80% wanted 40/20
    So many amazing bright and talented people asking questions and sharing knowledge . Nick Smith did well but he is on a hiding to nothing We will be lucky to get 10% in 2020. One hilarious moment one guy got up and quoted Air con to the assembled great and the good I kinda felt sorry for him

  8. outofbed 8

    have you signed on ?

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