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Business Develops Practical Plan for New Zealand Climate Response

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, October 31st, 2020 - 10 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, labour, political parties, science - Tags:

Showing that there’s life in the centre-left of business and ths Ardern government doesn’t need to rely in every word dropping out of the mouth of Kirk Hope when it comes to what business needs from government, here’s the quick list of priorities compiled by the Sustainable Business Council for the new government.

Their target of course is the Climate Change Commission, hoping beyond hope that this Commission gets its self into gear fast, makes decisions that are powerful, and that the government has the will to implement them.

Here’s some of their list within the document has estimated costings, and shows which measures are harder, and how fast they think they can be done:

  • Introduce a carbon intensity fuel standard
  • Introduce a fuel efficiency standard for light passenger vehicles
  • Reduce or remove the Fringe Benefit Tax for corporate Battery Electric Vehicle fleets
  • Develop a  roadmap to accelerate transformation across the fleet
  • Support the phase out of low-medium temperature coal process heat
  • Regulators to lower barriers to investment and activities that facilitate emissions reductions
  • Centralised farm biomethane plants
  • Expand the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme
  • Decarbonisation of state sector assets and activities

All of them are pretty practical – there’s 26 of them which I would encourage you to read, and analysis for each one and why they favour them. There’s a solid little report behind it. I was a little surprised they didn’t state a goal for banning the importation of combustion engined small vehicles – but then it’s the most poor-unfriendly thing to do to a country with a rapidly ageing fleet and with rapidly fewer people able to afford new electric cars let alone second hand ones. Which is why they target fleet replacement.

They give an example of SBC Freight and how they are approaching their whole decarbinsation challenge:

The critical takeaway from this profile is that we either need to do everything on the list or do sufficiently more of some things to negate the need for others. We cannot just say, for example, hydrogen is the answer. It is not the answer; it is one of a number of answers, all of which have to be pursued. In fact, fuel substitution will be some combination of EVs for light trucks, with biodiesel as a transition fuel for medium and heavy trucks as the capacity for hydrogen is developed over the next 10 years.”

What’s particularly useful for the government – and what makes it hard for the Commission to wriggle out of the recommendtions – is that they took them at their word and started from right there.

The Interim Climate Change Committee was asked to consider the viability of achieving 100 per cent renewable energy in a normal hydrological year. Their lead recommendation was:

The Committee recommends that the Government:

(a) Prioritises the accelerated electrification of transport and process heat over pursuing 100 per cent renewable energy by 2035 in a normal hydrological year because this could result in greater greenouse gas emissions savings while keeping electricity prices affordable.”

So what the Sustainable Business Council did was simply follow the Committee’s logic for their recommendations, and for proposed Climate Change Commission actions for change. It’s well overdue that the Climate Change Commission get their recommendations in place, so that the government can truly get behind them. They should follow the Sustainable Business Network proposals.

10 comments on “Business Develops Practical Plan for New Zealand Climate Response ”

  1. dv 1

    A Start. Good
    Thanks Ad for putting it up.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Scanned through it and was generally impressed. This is where change will happen.

    Three thoughts:

    I'm a bit underwhelmed by their thinking around biomass to replace process heat. They're correct in that it's a nice fat low hanging opportunity, but biomass comes with it's own bunch of problems.

    Another measure I would be looking at is some kind of "Innovation Council" that is specifically tasked with reviewing new tech opportunities overseas and evaluating how appropriate they may be here.

    The big hurdle with all these ideas is the people and development of a skill base to get momentum. There are always a few pioneering types who'll try stuff out, but it take years to build an industry of people who know how to make money doing it at scale.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    We cannot just say, for example, hydrogen is the answer. It is not the answer; it is one of a number of answers…

    Hydrogen isn't even part of the answer else someone would have successfully developed a hydrogen powered vehicle years ago.

    • Part of the problem is the difficulty of getting hydrogen
    • Another is the safety issues – hydrogen leaks through everything and tends to go bang with very little encouragement
    • And then there's the duplication. We can build multiple distribution networks for multiple means of powering cars or we could save ourselves a lot and only build one.

    Reduce or remove the Fringe Benefit Tax for corporate Battery Electric Vehicle fleets

    Demanding subsidies and

    Regulators to lower barriers to investment and activities that facilitate emissions reductions

    Removal of safety regulations. Really, this is NZ – there are no barriers to investment.

    I was a little surprised they didn’t state a goal for banning the importation of combustion engined small vehicles – but then it’s the most poor-unfriendly thing to do to a country with a rapidly ageing fleet and with rapidly fewer people able to afford new electric cars let alone second hand ones.

    1. Everyone should be using public transport and not owning personal cars
    2. The highly inefficient personal car boosts these people's profits and so there was zero probability that they'd suggest getting rid of them
    3. Even electric vehicles are so inefficient that we shouldn't even be looking at them. We lose billions of dollars every year by being stuck in traffic – changing to electric vehicles isn't really going to change that.

    A large part of addressing climate change is doing things economically rather than doing what brings about the most profits.

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    Given that Electric and hybrid cars save somewhere between 3500 and 7000 litres of petrol per 100,000 km so $7k to $14k less electricity cost putting in a fleet of them is an absolute no brainer financially. No FBT reduction needed.

    But fleet managers need to shop on the hybrid/EV market for what best suits their fleet use so employees are not required to charge them at home on their own dime. On the other hand

    Couple of articles in the motoring press should lay out a few options.

  5. Tricledrown 5

    A 4 day working week would help reduce gridlock in the major cities saving on fuel and emissions wasted in traffic jams.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Yes it would – have you noticed which of the alert pollies and advisors referred to this type of possibility?

  6. Patricia Bremner 6

    Minister Shaw will be talking with these people as he did with the farming groups.

    • Ad 6.1

      The Commission is calling the shots on this policy now.

      The Climate Change Minister doesn't have a Ministry, he's now just the go-between for the Commission and Cabinet.

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