Greens’ climate discussion paper

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, September 4th, 2015 - 122 comments
Categories: climate change, economy, global warming, greens, james shaw, labour, national, sustainability - Tags: , , ,

Yesterday James Shaw delivered his first major policy announcement for The Greens:

Green co-leader James Shaw outlines climate change plan

The Greens have outlined a plan to fight global warming – but softened their stance on making farmers pay a controversial carbon tax.

In his first major policy launch, party co-leader James Shaw said a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions was possible under his three-point plan. The Greens want the country to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Shaw’s speech is here, press release here, and the full discussion paper here.

The Greens are attempting something remarkable, a plan that is economically credible, but set in the context of realistic environmental constraints. Did they succeed? The economic credibility will need to be assessed (I/S raises some concerns). And Zero emissions by 2050 is by now the bare minimum, see:
G7 leaders target zero-carbon economy
Europe pushes for zero emissions target by 2050
A zero carbon target for New Zealand
Zero by 50
Goal to end fossil fuels by 2050 surfaces in Lima UN climate documents
Some would argue that zero isn’t enough:
Two degree climate target not possible without ‘negative emissions’, scientists warn
Negative emissions physically needed to keep global warming below 2 °C

Critics of the discussion document should recall that it is a starting, not an end point. It invites discussion, it can be improved. We can and we must. And then we need a Labour / Green government to take action, because we are never going to get anywhere under the Nats…

122 comments on “Greens’ climate discussion paper ”

  1. millsy 1

    Moving to a low carbon economy and adopting more renewable energy requires a more activist state, which needs to go further than what this paper is proposing. So far, the Greens seem to be unwilling to adopt this approach apart from limited forms.

    • weka 1.1

      I agree we need a more activitist state. The GP are realistic and know that to get to where we need to go is a process and can’t be achieved in one jump. If they came out with a policy about zero carbon by 2050 for instance, and didn’t have an actual plan on how to do that, or had one that was by necessity too radical for NZ (esp business, farmers and politicians), they’d be criticsed and condemned. This plan is the in between one that gets us on the way.

      If we do what they are proposing then in 5 years we will have an independent CC Commission that will be able to assess what is needed over time and make recommendations. Everything else in the plan is going to teach NZ (public, businesses, politicians) how to change and how to transition to low carbon.

      The best thing that could happen now is to give people actions that can be done, and this is what the GP have done at a parliamentary level. Most people (something like 80% of NZers) know that something needs to be done but don’t know what to do, feel powerless and so aren’t going much at all. Having actual steps laid out, costed and a plan to integrate this into the running of the country is perfect. We also need plans for what people can do outside of the parlimentary process, esp for the public.

      • Macro 1.1.1

        Totally agree weka – you have said my thoughts much better than what I could :).

        The criticism by NRT – of the reduction of transport emissions for instance I believe overlooks the change in emphasis that the policy will give to the reduction of road transport in favour of rail and shipping.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          Rachel Stewart has written it off on twitter as neoliberal (or she’s said it confirms her belief that Shaw is neoliberal).

          I had a quick look at NRT’s post and thought he was missing the point too. I’ll be interested to see if his criticisms of some of the figures pan out, but in general he’s just dumping on the first and probably only real way forward we have at the moment. I would have less of a problem with the hard criticique if he also said what should happen instead. He’s pretty smart and has a lot of resource and skill to draw on, would be good to see him stepping up and moving things forward. That old style political process of knock ’em down to make them better is not what is needed here, esp with a party like the Greens who don’t have huge resources.

          • Tracey 1.1.1.1.1

            I thought Shaw’s point on the Government withholding a report from the public because it contradicted another, was a good one. We deserve both, to decide for ourselves. Under Labour this was labelled nanny state arrogance for thinking we can’t think for ourselves… So I give him marks for that.

    • Tracey 1.2

      But..but..but the Green Party is just a party front for those evil activists in Greenpeace. So there you go. Vote green Party get your activist state.

  2. Ad 2

    And to everyone who keeps telling me that the Opposition shouldn’t launch bold policy this far out from an election…

    … Stick it in your ear. A non-scary and practical large scale and exceedingly well timed policy launch from the Greens.

    I don’t have to wonder if it would have been more effective if Labour and NZFirst had launched it as a common platform. Shaw has done a good job here. He won’t get huge MSM coverage, but he’s propping up his base like he should.

    • dukeofurl 2.1

      “….Labour and NZFirst had launched it as a common platform”

      You do know what happened last time they did that … which was the ETS.

      The Greens said it was sort of ‘great but not fantastic’ ( as they told supporters in their blog) but later reneged saying it was a back room dirty deal and a sell out which we will move heaven and earth to trash. (nb mostly my summary of the words)

      • Davidxvx 2.1.1

        Your summary is pretty far off. A lot of the post-2009 ETS criticism from the Greens and others isn’t about Parker’s original scheme, which was a big step forward but far from great, but about the 2009 and subsequent revisions. National took a flawed, over-allocated, over-grandfathered cap and trade scheme and removed the cap, allocated more free units, and generally broke what was good in the scheme.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          + 1, the GP are upfront about that too, that they’ve stopped supporting the scheme because it was intentionally broken.

        • dukeofurl 2.1.1.2

          There is a certain regular commentator on this blog ( you know who you are !) who says they were close to the action then and says the Green Mps ( all 6 of them) were shafted and given a take it or leave it deal by labour.

          Jeanette seemed to be the only Mp opposed at the time- and she was very clued up as this was one of her strong policy areas.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.3

          Labour put together an ETS scheme which was utterly and easily breakable and what a surprise to all the Lefties when National did just that.

          Useless. Trying to use more market mechanisms to correct the bads caused by market mechanisms. Useless.

    • save NZ 2.2

      +1 – they should have worked together.

      Also they should campaign together about the privatisation and selling off of our country under National.

      Apparently part of Siver Fern farms might be sold off now to the Chinese. Not sure how much this direction of sell offs is appealing to farmers. I would guess makes them very concerned.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Worth reading in the same context:

    The weird thing is that Klein and the prime minister, Tony Abbott, are in complete agreement on one fundamental thing: both believe that seriously tackling climate change is incompatible with capitalism as we know it.

    Of course, Klein starts with that and goes on to argue that our economic system must be upended if we are to have any chance to save the planet from the worst impacts of climate change. Abbott makes clear that he will protect the way things are at almost any cost.

    Yet their starting point is the same: you can have perpetual economic growth, with all that goes with it, or you can have an approach to climate change that treats it as the most serious issue the planet faces, but you can’t have both.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/03/tony-abbott-and-naomi-klein-agree-we-cant-beat-climate-change-under-capitalism

    • Coffee Connoisseur 3.1

      As a business owner and a systems analyst I agree 100%
      A system that requires the neverending use of resources for the purpose of making a profit will always act against what is required to fix climate change.
      It relies on consumption continuing and increasing under capitalism.
      We need to significantly reduce consumption and make far better and more efficient use of resources. The complete opposite of what Capitalism encourages.

      http://copiosis.com/ we need something more like this.

  4. Bill 4

    Putting aside that the policy appears to be based on the very conservative and rose tinted IPCC report, first blush…

    Bringing in robust emission standards for cars? Excellent. Should have been done years ago.

    Suggesting that electric cars be developed? No. We’d have to do something like double the capacity of the grid for that. Anyway, what’s wrong with electric cycles (300W) and bikes (much less wattage than cars) ? They’d work for the majority of people and journeys.

    Bio-fuels for freight? Yes and no. There will never be enough biofuel to power road, rail, sea and air freight. Choices will have to be made and priorities set. I see they also have biofuels slated to be used for electricity generation.

    Scrap the ETS? Absolutely.

    Green Investment Bank? I’d suggest that would have to be married up with a peoples’ QE and prioritise upgrading all our infrastructure (sewage, electric, roads, homes, buildings etc) to withstand a likely +4 degrees future.

    Decentralising the grid? Yes. Again, inbuilt resilience and multi- routed connectivity a must in the likely event portions of the grid are knocked over for extended periods of time.

    Sequestrating through forestry? Again, yes and no. If it’s done right (ie, not for harvest) and if we are lucky with regards future winds, floods and droughts, then yes, why not?

    CCS. No. Sure, continue with research, but….

    In my mind they should have explicitly separated energy from agriculture/land use so that no fudging could be applied with regards not hitting zero from energy by 2050 through, y’know, pointing to (I dunno) forestry and then saying that ‘allows’ us to be above zero from energy.

    • weka 4.1

      Suggesting that electric cars be developed? No. We’d have to do something like double the capacity of the grid for that. Anyway, what’s wrong with electric cycles (300W) and bikes (much less wattage than cars) ? They’d work for the majority of people and journeys.

      “We’d have to do something like double the capacity of the grid for that”

      Citation needed. The GP are talking about new car purchases being electric instead of FF. They’re not talking about replacing the whole fleet.

      As for bikes, want to try that on a hilly suburb with 2 kids and groceries for a week for a whole family? And in the rain in the middle of winter? Baby has a cold btw. So yeah, bikes for those that can use them, plus good public transport, plus electric cars instead of petrol ones for new purchases, plus all the integrated policies that they’ve built the plan around. Plus eventual powerdown.

      Plus, the GP including a biking policy in their plan.

      Bio-fuels for freight? Yes and no. There will never be enough biofuel to power road, rail, sea and air freight. Choices will have to be made and priorities set. I see they also have biofuels slated to be used for electricity generation.

      It’s not a carbon zero plan, it’s a carbon reduction plan. I would see the prioritising as being something that happened after the plan, say in 5 years when we have an independent CC Commission.

      Re biofuels, same thing, citation needed because I suspect you are thinking about the bigger picture rather than what this plan is attempting to do, which is get some immediate reductions happening. From memory of the speech, the biofuel idea is predicated on the huge amounts of land we have in marginal production currently and that land’s ability to grow forest pretty quickly (they are talking pinus unfortunately, but still, it’s a start).

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        This is a good example of what happens when you release what you would do ahead of time. People dissect it, and the loud voices do so in a negative way…

        Hey presto bad idea, not capable of running the country.

        I am glad they do it though, cos it is how I think the world should be.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          Assuming that’s a response to my comment up yonder…

          it’s a discussion document with ideas contained in it, yes. Me? I dissect ideas if they interest me. It’s called thinking critically. That’s not the same as just dismissing something or executing some knee-jerk reaction.

          If some aspects strike me as unrealistic or as not taking relevant factors into account, I’ll say so. Would you rather everyone just hollered “Hallelujah!” and assumed ‘the fix’ had arrived?

          The ‘not capable of running the country’ bit is weird. There will be no economic growth if we are going to prepare for/tackle climate change. Green growth is a dangerous myth. Being a market abolitionist, I have no problem with the economic viability or otherwise of what’s proposed. We’re going to need to ‘lose’ the market – develop new rules for production and distribution – or lose everything, including the market, to climate change.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            Bingo.

            The Titanic is starting to list but our political class is still telling people that there will be no interruption to the dinner service, merely some minor menu changes.

        • James 4.1.1.2

          “Hey presto bad idea, not capable of running the country.”

          +100

      • dukeofurl 4.1.2

        Im thinking thats not a biggy either, the current power generation is sized for two peaks per day and a big trough overnight.
        WE are fortunate that we have the 240V Ac system for home users where the US is a 120v domestic grid- (ie their hot water jugs take forever to boil!), so cars will charge faster.
        So we can shunt off a lot of recharging overnight.

        A major issue would be with SI hydro lake storage, as it was originally set up to store summer runoff of snow for winter use. Running a higher load through the night will deplete lake storage quicker

        • Tracey 4.1.2.1

          Some people are saying this “doesn’t go far enough”, while others are slamming it for not being achievable.

          The Greens doing what they do best, making people discuss something they want to pretend isn’t happening (with lots of help from National and to a lesser extent NZF and LP).

      • Bill 4.1.3

        Electric cars. A smallish or average car will have about 120 – 150 horsepower. 1 horsepower is about 750 watts. Assuming the idea is to have electric cars performing around the same level as current fossil driven ones, then that’s a lot of electricity that’s required. How many cars in NZ? How many envisaged? I believe the report talks of a 2% decrease in car use per year and of somehow speeding up the turnover of the car fleet. I can imagine a car scrapping scheme and other measures bringing that turnover to somewhere around a decade.

        The doubling of the grid comes from Jan 2015 – ‘Evidence to the House of Lords on the resilience of the electricity grid to a changing climate’. That evidence actually pointed to a tripling of grid capacity seeing as how ‘everything’ that now runs on fossil is being imagined to run on electricity. I’ve left out the ‘air conditioning as standard’ in new houses and the likely increase in electric gizmos as ‘standard’ (heat pumps anyone?) So when I say ‘double’ it’s a reasonably conservative punt.

        Electric Bicycles. Up to 60 – 80km on a single charge depending on conditions. Hills? Well, they can go up Baldwin Street – vid on youtube. Like manual bikes, there is no reason why babies can’t be carried, pods constructed around the frame (rain) or pods attached as light weight trailers… or there are tricycles. And multiple trips to pick up the equivalent of an SUV packed full of groceries or whatever. (The cost of an ~ 60 – 80km charge is about 10c)

        Not a carbon zero plan The report mentions a net zero emissions by 50 target. (The 40 by 30 or whatever it is is claiming to be that trajectory)

        Biofuels. There is a limit to the quantity of biofuel that can be produced. As I said, there is ‘nothing’ wrong with incorporating biofuels into the mix, but logistics have to be taken into account – (total quantity required, production of, transport of, land use for…etc) and priorities made. I mean, everyone from the aviation, shipping, power sector and roading sector is going to be wanting it and ….supply. Ain’t happening. In the meantime and short term, sure, use it wherever.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.3.1

          The whole approach is a head desk.

          An “electric car” is still going to contain up to 1,000 kgs (or more) of steel, aluminium and plastics. A huge amount of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are created in the mining, refining, fabrication, assembly and shipping of all those materials.

          The TYRES on an electric car are highly dependent on compounds sourced from fossil fuel energy and fossil fuel byproducts.

          It’s utterly fucking stupid.

          And no I admit that I don’t have a “citation” for this; it’s plainly obvious.

          Basically as far as I can see, 3 deg C to 4 deg C rise is locked in now, and by the 2030s it will be 4 deg C to 5 deg C locked in.

          That is civilisation ending stuff.

          Which means that the Greens proposals today are irrelevant.

          • weka 4.1.3.1.1

            I understand cradle to grave CV, I’ve been referring to this on ts at least as long as you have. So why do you think I support the GP plan? Any ideas?

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.3.1.1.1

              Weka, I don’t support political plans which reinforce middle class delusions of saving the world while pretending that keeping the rapidly ending comfortable status quo is an actual option – and neither should you.

              I understand cradle to grave CV

              I’m not talking about cradle to grave. I’m talking about people who think that putting 2M electric cars on NZ roads at the cost of many many billions is going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

              • weka

                citation need for the GP wanting to put 2M electric cars on the road.

                An “electric car” is still going to contain up to 1,000 kgs (or more) of steel, aluminium and plastics. A huge amount of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are created in the mining, refining, fabrication, assembly and shipping of all those materials.

                The TYRES on an electric car are highly dependent on compounds sourced from fossil fuel energy and fossil fuel byproducts.

                I understand all that and have been talking about it on ts for at least as long as you have. So why do you think I support the GP plan? Any ideas?

                • Colonial Viper

                  citation need for the GP wanting to put 2M electric cars on the road.

                  Don’t waste my time Weka. Either the GP are going to put a huge number of electric cars on the road or the policy won’t make a meaningful difference anyway.

                  You choose.

          • Bill 4.1.3.1.2

            Let’s assume there are ways around the emissions involved in the production processes – just for arguments sake.

            The idea of a car for personal transport was always a stupid idea. We had public transport systems that were deliberately trashed so that we were forced to make the choice of having our very own (over-weight, inefficient, costly both in terms of money and health) personal transport.

            Why we’d want to project that (the car) into a future scenario is kind of beyond me.

            I’m all for having electric cars in given specific circumstances, just as I’m all for propeller flight in given circumstances. I mean, does it make any sense to have heavy and empty public transport vehicles plying remote under-populated areas? Would more or less energy be used flying x passengers from the west coast of the south island to wherever than if they drove, bussed or trained?

            • weka 4.1.3.1.2.1

              Just out of curiosity, have you read the full plan? Because the GP are indeed talking about public transport and bikes etc being priorities.

              • Bill

                They envisage a 2% per year reduction in car use. They want emission standards brought in and petrol gradually replaced by electric. That suggests a sizable fleet of electric cars.

                • weka

                  They want public transport, bike infrastructure and car sharing. What’s the actual number of cars proposed?

                  • Bill

                    Depends on how their incentives work, yes? They want people to buy electric cars.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      They want the comfortable middle class to buy $50,000 electric cars, yes.

                    • weka

                      “Depends on how their incentives work, yes? They want people to buy electric cars.”

                      No, they don’t. Seriously. They want people to buy electric cars instead of petrol ones, and they want people to use cars less and to instead use pubic transport, bikes, car sharing etc. I’m not making that up, it’s in the plan.

                • Poission

                  They envisage a 2% per year reduction in car use.

                  2005-2013 co2 emissions per kilometre in the light vehicle fleet (new vehicle registrations ) decrease by around 15% (around 2% per year including the flat lining of registrations 2010-11)

                  Not much of a policy initiative,that is indistinguishable from BAU.

                  http://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Research/Documents/2013-Fleet-report-final.pdf

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.3.1.2.2

              The idea of a car for personal transport was always a stupid idea.

              Yep. And it seems that propagating greener versions of stupid status quo ideas is the way ahead.

              We need actual change.

              • weka

                The plan includes and prioritises moving away from personal car use. I’m guessing you haven’t read it.

                • Bill

                  page 15 of the report.

                  With these policy measures in place we can expect New Zealand’s car travel to decrease by 2 percent per person per annum (it has already been falling at an average of 1 percent per person per annum for the last decade). This will create substantial emissions reductions, but even further emissions reductions are possible if the transition to a more climate – friendly vehicle fleet is incentivised through the introduction of fuel economy standards for vehicle imports ,and by incentivising the uptake of electric vehicles.

                  my bold

                  • weka

                    yes, shifting from ff cars to electric ones (by having people buy electric when they go to buy a new car i.e. instead of a petrol one). That doesn’t mean an increase in car use. Your own quote says they want to decrease car use.

        • weka 4.1.3.2

          Electric cars. A smallish or average car will have about 120 – 150 horsepower. 1 horsepower is about 750 watts. Assuming the idea is to have electric cars performing around the same level as current fossil driven ones, then that’s a lot of electricity that’s required.

          Sorry, I can’t make sense of that, it looks like pulling figures out of the internet without context. I’m not going to spend a whole bunch of time looking up the actual NZ specs for cars and the grid because I think the focus on electric cars is a debate cul de sac. When we have the real figures I’ll look at them, but in the meantime, the principles of that part of the CC plan are sound. Cherry picking bits out means we will lose what they are intending.

          For example,

          The doubling of the grid comes from Jan 2015 – ‘Evidence to the House of Lords on the resilience of the electricity grid to a changing climate’. That evidence actually pointed to a tripling of grid capacity seeing as how ‘everything’ that now runs on fossil is being imagined to run on electricity. I’ve left out the ‘air conditioning as standard’ in new houses and the likely increase in electric gizmos as ‘standard’ (heat pumps anyone?) So when I say ‘double’ it’s a reasonably conservative punt.

          I’ve not seen the GP suggest that we can have BAU just run on electric instead of FF. I have seen them refer to the powerdown, but obliquely not overtly. For instance, they want people to use bikes and public transport, the clear inference for me from that is less car use.

          • Bill 4.1.3.2.1

            The electricity required (the wattage) to run an electric car, that is of about the same power as today’s cars, will be about 150 x 750…112500W or 112.5kW. That’s a lot of electricity! In context, it’s about 10x the amount of domestic electricity I use in a day. Granted, I’m a low user. But I doubt many people use ~ $13 worth of electricity a day (~$400 per month) for their home.

            So charging up the batteries for a car would consume more than an average house does in a day. Now, how many electric cars are envisaged and how in the hell can anyone expect the present grid to cope when it already needs back up at peak times?

            • weka 4.1.3.2.1.1

              The Nissan Leaf, the highest selling all electric car, uses 34 kWh/100 miles. See why I don’t want to do back of the enveloppe calculations on this?

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf#Fuel_economy

              I think the questions are valid, but I don’t think this is the way in to the answers. Look at the policy in context. I’ll have a look later and see if the GP have the actual figures, but as I said, this reductionist focus on one aspect without the actual figures they used is a cul de sac.

              • Bill

                Regardless of the efficiency, the battery would be about 122.5 kW if electric cars are to be around the same power rating as standard fossil driven cars. Given that people kind of like their acceleration and top speeds and all that guff, I’m guessing that’s the plan.

                That ‘leaf’ has a range of about 110km. So recharge every second or third day depending?

                You’ll also want to multiply the running cost by about 2 or 3 if your looking to NZ electricity costs. That chart was assuming 11c US per Kwh and NZ is typically about 25-30c per kWh.

              • RedLogix

                What’s missing from your calc Bill is that most car engines spend only a tiny fraction of their total life operating at full power.

                Usually they’re operating in the 10 – 20kw range.

                • weka

                  Thanks. I’ll wait now for the actual figures.

                • Bill

                  I get that cars ‘cruise’, but they do use more power on inclines and hills. Full power being most commonly used for acceleration/over-taking, yes?

                  So it’s a matter of performance. Is the electric car to be comparable in terms of acceleration and ‘pull’ going up-hill, or not? That would require an motor that has the same power as current engines.

                  Regardless, they represent a stupid ‘solution’.

                  • weka

                    Just as well they’re not being presented as a solution then.

                    • Bill

                      So the report mentions plans to incentivise their purchase…why?

                      I really would like to know whether they accounted for the extra drain on the grid that electric cars will represent. I’m punting that they over-looked that ‘small’ detail. Otherwise their whole ‘zero emissions from electricity generation’ by (can’t recall the date) would have had caveats all around it.

                    • weka

                      “So the report mentions plans to incentivise their purchase…why?”

                      So that when people go to buy a car that they’re going to buy anyway they buy one that is low carbon in terms of use emissions instead of the one that is high carbon.

                      I really would like to know whether they accounted for the extra drain on the grid that electric cars will represent. I’m punting that they over-looked that ‘small’ detail. Otherwise their whole ‘zero emissions from electricity generation’ by (can’t recall the date) would have had caveats all around it.

                      It’s hardly as small detail, and while it’s possible they overlooked it, it’s not the first assumption I would make. Their electricity policy is widespread and complex. It includes things like home power generation via solar and that feeding into the grid. That’s two net increases. I suspect that the detail you are after is in a previous policy announcement (probably the solar homes one linked in the plan document).

                      edit, plus there are the already consented power generators not yet built.

                    • weka

                      I think the probable closure of Tiwai will free up quite a bit of power from the grid as well.

                  • RedLogix

                    Usually the extra fuel used going uphill is mostly cancelled out by the reduction when going back down. A lot depends on how aggressively the driver uses the brakes … or as my dad used to say “its the middle pedal that uses the gas”.

                    Electric cars feature regenerative braking so that even the losses from braking are minimised – in other words the energy that would otherwise be lost when slowing down is captured and used to re-charge the batteries.

                    And unlike petrol engines, electric motors are capable of short-bursts of extra power over and above their ‘rated sustained maximum’. There are lots of interesting engineering trade-offs here, but in general an electric motor will always be much more efficient than any internal combustion engine.

              • Colonial Viper

                The Nissan Leaf, the highest selling all electric car, uses 34 kWh/100 miles.

                So someone who does 10,000 km travel in a year would use 2125 kWh of electricity.

            • Macro 4.1.3.2.1.2

              http://chinaautoweb.com/car-models/chana-benni-ev/?pid=3539
              specs
              50 kw
              top speed 120 kmph
              range 150 km
              at today’s exchange rate the cost is around $25,000 for a new one. Bit expensive admittedly – but subsidies funded by carbon taxes on ff guzzling remuera taxi’s etc could make them more affordable, and as with any new technology cost would fall over time.
              Personal transport such as this need not be large and most journeys are way less than 150 km.
              Another option in smaller regional towns, and rapidly gaining popularity, is the “mobility scooter” I see many people here use them instead of cars these days.

              • Bill

                Another option in smaller regional towns, and rapidly gaining popularity, is the “mobility scooter” I see many people here use them instead of cars these days.

                That was essentially where i was going in the original comment. Battery powered trikes or bicycles cost about 10c to charge and have a range in excess of 50km and speeds of around 30km/h.

                S’cuse my language, but fuck the cars.

                • weka

                  Please present your plan for getting NZ to shift from ff cars to mobility scooters, thanks 😉

                  I agree, but you seem to be missing the point that the GP included these things in the plan (well, not the mobility scooter).

                  • Bill

                    I get that they included these things in the report. But with those things included, they still envisaged only a 2% reduction per year in an individual’s car use. That leaves a lot of cars on the roads for a long time which suggests (if their incentives work) a lot of electric cars on the roads.

                    • weka

                      I guess much depends on how well the other things get supported. If you put in good public transport infrastructure soon I’d expect car use to drop faster. People want to do the right thing, and they want less congestion and better use of their money. The thing that is slowing this down is the lack of alternatives. Meanwhile, in 2020 and 2030, it’s better to have people buying new cars that are electric than petrol ones, given they are going to buy a car anyway (unless you have a plan for getting people to stop buying new cars). That seems so self evident to me I’m not sure why we are even discussing it.

                      I don’t believe in green tech BAU solutions. But pragmatically, with the kind of society we have, I think transitioning people off cars and stopping petrol cars altogether, over the next few decades is a really good place to start in the context of the rest of the policy.

                      I’m also not willing to wait for the revolution. I want people like you and me to still be arguing for the powedown, and alongside that I want the mainstream to start doing something instead of sitting on its hands.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The Greens will have about 6 years in power. The NATs will be back thereafter to screw the Greens well thought out 2030/2050 plans.

                      We need a consistent direction in this country and our politics won’t allow it.

                    • Macro

                      Now CV that’s not fair! Remember that the first Labour Govt in NZ was in power from 1935 to 1949! As with any change that brings benefits to the people rather than the elite there is a desire to remain loyal to those leaders.
                      A change of direction in economic policy and social justice from supporting the elite to supporting the people will not go awry. It has taken 30 years for the country to deteriorate to its current sad state. It will take some time to get it back on track, and it won’t happen overnight. I have met James and he impresses as someone who is keen to work alongside and with others.
                      This is put up as a discussion document – it doesn’t hold all the answers – and that is why it is called what it is – a discussion document – to get people thinking and suggesting ways and means we can all work together towards meeting this crisis that is upon us.
                      Yes there are many aspects of this document that really are along the lines of BAU. But that is where this country is at this point in time. If they had come out with anything too radical it would be laughed out of court – literally. Better to start where people are at and work with people towards a common goal rather than scare them off.

                    • greywarshark

                      CV
                      You are scary. Particularly as I think the scenario is likely. I don’t think NZ are good at accepted the unpleasant. I hate taking medicine even the better tasting ones, though I have learned to accept all sorts of new flavours in my lifetime. But new ideas require a deft twist to the brain and mind. Everyone will get on board with the idea of doing something serious and being responsible. When a couple of good initiatives are under way, we will say aren’t we good, settle back and enjoy the wine and tinkling ice in the cocktails. Got to have a break for a cup of tea we’ll say, chuckling at our own wit.

                      and Macro
                      >i>Remember that the first Labour Govt in NZ was in power from 1935 to 1949!
                      Okay we read that now how will things pan out in the near future. I think that my scenario is likely with what we have observed of the rather laissez faire NZ who doesn’t bother about doing the job really well, just to a reasonable standard as his mates have established as
                      correct. So there will be holes and there will be a need to be eternally vigilant that new emissions aren’t arising or old ones being rorted away.

                      weka
                      As you say let’s get started. Someone said on radio that they are holding onto their old car while waiting for a direction from authorities for the new type of car to be trialled, and with recharging arrangements set up. Now could we have some National action on this?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      >i>Remember that the first Labour Govt in NZ was in power from 1935 to 1949!

                      That included 6 years of World War, also a Labour Government which changed the face of NZ, not just managed the detail around the edges.

                    • Macro

                      We are approaching a war situation now – a war for survival as a species. Not just our species but almost every other – and if they don’t survive nor will we. If we can’t work constructively together then we are stuffed. Unfortunately, we are starting from a base that has been rendered dysfunctional by neoliberalism over the past few decades. But you have to start from somewhere, and the steps initially will be small because we have to take the majority with us – only then will the changes needed to be made be made sustainably, and the changes must be such that the people understand that what is made is in their best and long term interests.
                      The Nats have gotten away with complete and utter vandalism of the country and environment and still have strong support from voters. Yes strong action needs to happen. But there also needs to be some realization that it’s not all going to happen overnight, because the people aren’t ready for it.

    • weka 4.2

      “In my mind they should have explicitly separated energy from agriculture/land use so that no fudging could be applied with regards not hitting zero from energy by 2050 through, y’know, pointing to (I dunno) forestry and then saying that ‘allows’ us to be above zero from energy.”

      It’s not a 2050 plan, it’s a 2030 plan. Maybe I missed it but I didn’t hear them talking about 2050.

      They did separate out energy from agriculture. Or do you mean that within the agriculture sector they haven’t separated energy from cow burps kind of thing?

      • Bill 4.2.1

        2050 is mentioned in the report, but anyway…

        by energy I mean the burning of fossil fuels (gas, coal, oil) – it’s all highly measurable. That must be absolute zero by 2050 for an outside chance – a very outside chance – of dipping 2 degrees of warming.

        Emissions from land use in all its myriad forms is very difficult to measure. Those emissions must be reduced as much as possible.

        By not separating energy and land use, the way is open to fudge total emission reductions. (Mixing emission figures from a highly quantifiable source with guesstimated emission figures from another source and using the fudge to ‘preserve’ a degree of energy related emissions.)

        • weka 4.2.1.1

          Still not sure what you are meaning. Agriculture, transport and electricity are all separate sections of the plan.

          There are 3 references to 2050 in the plan. Here’s the main bit,

           
          This discussion paper clearly sets out the steps the Government can take to achieve a climate plan New Zealanders can be proud of – a plan that sees our greenhouse pollution drop by a respectable 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

          This target is the same as put forward by the European Union and puts us broadly on a straight-line path to being a (net) zero emissions economy by 2050.

          How is the 2030 plan not doing that?

          • Bill 4.2.1.1.1

            Transport and electricity generation are both energy and highly measurable. There really is no need to separate them.

            Land use isn’t energy and isn’t very measurable. (Cow burps, trees growing/falling, land being tilled…)

            • weka 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I still don’t know what you are suggesting. The plan separated them by sector, so that sectors could be worked with.

              That land use isn’t energy is self-evident. Carbon sequestered in trees etc is measurable, and the NZ govt is already doing that.

              • Bill

                I’m not ‘suggesting’ anything so much as stating an obvious fact. You burn fossil and it’s quantifiable. You know precisely what emissions got released from burning any given quantity. And by about 2040 or thereabouts, if we are interested in global equity, then NZ must have precisely zero emissions from those sources.

                Till a hectare of land or plant up 10 hectares or hillside and we can punt at emission scenarios, but they aren’t quantifiable to anything like the degree that those resulting from burning fossil are.

                So if a government claims there has been a x drop in land use emissions, it’s only ever a punt – a guess. And if a government exaggerates those savings and then ‘off-sets’ them against fossil emissions in order to argue (say) not shutting down that gas fired station just yet, then I’m sure you can see the problem – the politics and games.

                So separate the energy and get it to zero.

                Work land use on best a scenario basis. ie, cut down trees bad scenario/plant trees better scenario. And never allow the emissions from the two sectors (land use and energy) to be played off one against the other.

                • weka

                  how does that relate to the GP plan?

                  • Bill

                    The Green’s plan includes a huge flaw that invites the gaming of future emissions. And you ask what that has to do with the GP plan. Seriously!?

                    • weka

                      I actually haven’t understood your point right from the start. I’ll have another read through over the weekend, but it got lost pretty early on.

    • Davidxvx 4.3

      As stated in our Multilateral Assessment in Lima, MFE data suggests that we could have a fully electric car fleet powered by renewable electricity generation by 2025 with only consented new power stations built.

      I’m skeptical of electric cars, but that’s not why.

      • Bill 4.3.1

        Can you provide a link to that? What and where are the consented new power stations?

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.2

        MFE data suggests that we could have a fully electric car fleet powered by renewable electricity generation by 2025 with only consented new power stations built.

        So, two million new high demand electric appliances on the road, with only consented new power stations built? That would be a real trick to pull off.

        Of course, given that the average age of a NZ car is almost 20 years old, I don’t think we’re going to get our “fully electric car fleet” – ever.

  5. Clean_power 5

    Well intended but not achievable. In fact, the Green’s package will bring the New Zealand economy to its knees, and it’s why Labour needs to be careful and keep its distance from the Green Party.

    • Paul 5.1

      And National’s plan will destroy the planet and thereby bring the economy to its knees.
      Clean power, there are generations after us. Do you not care for them?

    • Davidxvx 5.2

      Clean_power: Because…why? On one hand, you’ve got the Stern Report, multiple World Bank reports, Treasury documents OIA-ed, etc, all saying that the costs of inaction are much greater, which suggests that not doing anything will worse than kneecap our economy. On the other hand, there’s you declaring baselessly that a feasible plan is bad because you say so.

      • weka 5.2.1

        “On the other hand, there’s you declaring baselessly that a feasible plan is bad because you say so.”

        I expect quite a bit of this in the next few days.

        • Tracey 5.2.1.1

          Yup. Cos the people who say “what would you do?” and “where is the policy”, don’t mean it. It’s their excuse for voting for something that they THINK will get them more money but is wrecking NZ for future folks

    • Tracey 5.3

      Is it dark up there?

    • Tracey 5.4

      “In fact, the Green’s package will bring the New Zealand economy to its knees”

      Whereas National’s lack of plan and do nothing attitude IS bringing NZ to its knees.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    The Greens are attempting something remarkable, a plan that is economically credible

    This “economically credible” phrase is a red flag.

    Who decides that its “economically credible”?

    The bankers? The corporate economists? The Business Round Table? The neoclassical economists?

    We have to face facts. The plan we need is not going to be “economically credible” because the plan we need is a plan which totally transitions from the systems of corporate government, mass consumption and hyper-financialisation that we have created.

    And the powers that be are NEVER going to find such a plan “credible.”

  7. Ad 7

    I like this plan because it largely just concentrates on tax. Tax is the primary instrument and lever of the state, for business and investors In particular. While much of the rest of it will get traded away on the coalition negotiating table, the tax instrument in my judgement has a good chance.

    It’s not going to solve “corporate government, mass consumption, and hyperfinancialisaiton”, or capitalism, or the world. It’s going to send a set of investment signals. That’s it. It’s contained, concrete, and positive.

    I’ll be interested in how Paker and Peters react.

    • weka 7.1

      thanks Ad.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      I like this plan because it largely just concentrates on tax. Tax is the primary instrument and lever of the state,

      ?

      As compared to the First Labour Government which got out there, employed hundreds of thousands of workers directly and built NZ infrastructure itself.

      NZ Governments have become useless, passive, paper work focussed and Wellington-centric. The ethos of using market mechanisms to try and effect change is a disease of neoliberalism.

  8. Ad 8

    Excuse me, Parker.

  9. Coffee Connoisseur 9

    should really stop looking at things and issues on an individual basis and developing policy for each issue.
    Instead we should take a look at the whole system. Determine the outcomes we want to achieve and put in place a system that does that.
    But to do so would require thinking based in logic common sense and reason.
    Like this sort of thinking.

    http://copiosis.com/

    You have to look passed the first part that says the American Way.

    But it will never be put forward as policy from any current main stream political party despite the fact that it would solve many of the problems we face as a society. UBI could even be a good transitional tool.

    • weka 9.1

      Actually the GP policy is based in systems thinking. Policy doesn’t get developped in isolation.

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10

    The Greens are attempting something remarkable, a plan that is economically credible…

    Wow. If true, this is new ground for the Greens.

    • maui 10.1

      That’s because the bar for your economic credibility is the National Party, an incredibly low bar.

  11. Just another sad load of bollocks, foisted on the pig ignorant masses (you) , by the pig ignorant ‘leaders’
    ho hum

  12. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12

    NZ is responsible for 0.9% of emissions. If we, like Niger, reduced that to 0% it would make no tangible difference to climate change.

    On the plus side, inequality will undoubtedly be reduced when we’re all living on US$800 pa.

    • maui 12.1

      We’re one of the top 5 emitters per capita in the world, so any change we make would be highly influential on other emitters.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.1.1

        “Per capita” is a bit of a clue, there. I am sure you are right there, China and the US will follow along right in behind whatever we do. ‘Cause, you know, that’s what they’ve always done.

        What will you spend your US$800 a year on. Canned goods is my recommendation.

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          Gormless hasn’t read the plan, or listened to the speech, or probably even read the post. Pretty sure they’re here to trole.

          He’s a denier/distractor, the message he brings is “there’s nothing we can do” because he would rather let the world burn than have to change.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.1.1.1.1

            It’s “troll”.

            When society completely breaks down, it is the proper use of the language that I will miss most.

            • weka 12.1.1.1.1.1

              trole doesn’t trip the filter, moran.

              [lprent: Troll doesn’t either these days. I silently put in words when they get overused without explanation and implied not explicit meaning, and silently remove them after people adjust their language and reduce the rather boring and stupid sloganeering. I find this reduces the number of stupid flamewars I have to read. ]

            • greywarshark 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah we are ganging up on you Gormless, inventing a new language, new thinking, new methods, new machinery, new meanings and spellings for old words. Soon you will be left behind, completely out of sight, sitting and weeping by the roadside.
              edited

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.2

          US$800 a year

          1. Is that what you believe? Pitiful.

          2. In your deeply held scenario, what will US$800 be worth?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.1.1.2.1

            Many tins of tomatoes. And asparagus for Xmas.

            This is the per capita GDP of Niger. They revel in their 0% emissions. Loving it. A worthwhile example for us all to follow.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.2.1.1

              Poke the right wing fears and they become blither and bluster. Thanks for illustrating the lesson so well.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                I give out nothing but love here, and all I get in return is bile.

                I think it’s this trait that makes the left so unelectable.

                XXX

            • maui 12.1.1.2.1.2

              I would be looking forward to that example that if I were you, because following your greed ideology we’ve borrowed for Africa for decades now and soon that’s what our yearly budgets will look like. Hope you enjoy the poverty we’re all going to face from living beyond our means. Some will adapt, others will go out looking for the ones to blame for it.

    • Bill 12.2

      Gormless. The entire world has to be free of fossil fuel use for energy by 2050, ie not one computer or other appliance anywhere running on electricity generated from fossil fuel and not one internal combustion engine running on fossil fuel.

      So it doesn’t matter what % of the global emissions from energy ‘belong’ to NZ. They must become zero.

    • Adele 12.3

      Teenaa koe, Gormless

      You are absolutely correct on both points.

      We can wreck and crap all over the place we raise our children and their children in and it won’t mean diddly squat to the rest of the world.

      And yes we all will be returning to the iron age soon – hopefully you have saved those old tools of yours, the hand grinder and spittoon.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.3.1

        Adele, you’re really #hypnoflag? (All hail Hypnoflag, just in case)

        • Adele 12.3.1.1

          Teenaa koe, Anonymous One

          I am not sure whether to be offended or gratified that I have similarities to another random somebody.

          But what an excellent symbol for a country that prides itself on the natural environment and abundant greenery.

          Hypnoflag. It gets my vote.

  13. Ad 13

    I did a week in Amsterdam in May and was astounded at the huge volumes of electric cars – and even trucks.

    While the state subsidy has come off now, they seemed to have about 25% of all traffic.

    Granted we were in the Historic Quarter, but bicycles and pedestrians dominated. Including the 3-wheel Bakfis for local freight.

    Amazing alternative that didn’t feel too Beyond the Thunderdome.

    • Adele 13.1

      Teenaa koe, Ad

      Why not just go back to bicycle or tuk-tuk. Electricity whilst a renewable resource has a negative ion. It pulls the plug on more natural solutions.

      Leg power.

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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
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  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
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  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
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    2 weeks ago

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