Greens commit to Zero Carbon Act in first 100 days

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, August 26th, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: climate change, election 2017, Environment, greens, sustainability - Tags:

Press release from greens.org.nz


The Green Party announced today it will seek to pass binding climate change legislation in the first 100 days in Government.  Green Party leader James Shaw made the commitment to a Zero Carbon Act on Newshub’s The Nation debate this morning.

“If we are to treat climate change like our generation’s nuclear free moment, we need to back that up in law”, said Green Party leader James Shaw.

“Successive governments have allowed New Zealand’s climate pollution to keep growing. Only the Greens have a plan to turn that around.

“A Zero Carbon Act will provide an anchor for government action on climate change and drive decisions across the economy to make sure New Zealand is doing its fair share to keep global warming under 2 degrees.

“The Act will mean that climate targets are legally binding, and the Government will be obliged to have a detailed plan about exactly how it will meet those targets, detail that has been desperately missing under National.

“This is what real action on climate change looks like.

“Reducing pollution will mean investing to create a better New Zealand. It means investing in fast, electric and clean light rail in our cities, in warm insulated, energy efficient housing, in solar energy and cheaper electricity.

“This is the single most important thing we can do to ensure that we are protecting the health of our climate, and of our country, for future generations,” said Mr Shaw

48 comments on “Greens commit to Zero Carbon Act in first 100 days”

  1. Sans Cle 1

    Great news! Greens get my party vote.

  2. Rightly or wrongly 2

    Cheaper electricity?

    What type?

    – windmills that kill and maim birds?
    – damming more rivers?
    – burning more coal?
    – nuclear?
    – intermittent solar?

    Of the above only hydro/coal/nuclear have the potential to provide cheaper electricity – can’t see any of them getting off the ground in NZ.

    • Eco maori 2.1

      Well I can see you are one of those people with your head stuck in that place that I talked about in one of my earlier post R or W

    • weka 2.2

      “Cheaper electricity?”

      Greens launch plan for cheaper and cleaner electricity

      The Green Party has today launched a plan for cheaper power bills, cleaner electricity generation, and a smarter electricity network.

      The Empowering New Zealand comprehensive plan for the electricity sector includes:

      $112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills

      setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions)

      an investigation into the electricity wholesale market

      encouraging lines companies to work together and embrace new technology to bring down costs

      modernising industry rules to encourage competition, transparency and use of data.

      “Our plan will see more than half a million Kiwi households pay less to heat their homes every winter,” Green Party energy and resources spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.

      “It’s unacceptable that so many Kiwi families are getting sick because they can’t afford to switch the heater on.

      “Setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity generation is bold, achievable, and the right thing to do for our planet.

      “New Zealand can help lead the global clean energy revolution, creating jobs and exporting our clean energy expertise to the world, but we need Government leadership to make it happen.

      “The electricity industry is entering a time of massive change where big old power stations and transmission lines are being supplemented by local networks of people and communities who produce, sell, store, and buy their own electricity.

      “We have consulted the electricity industry to design a future-focused system and I’m confident the plan we announced today is ready to be acted on by the next government,” Mr Hughes said.

      For more information see http://www.greens.org.nz/empowering-nz

      April 2017

      https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/greens-launch-plan-cheaper-and-cleaner-electricity

      • Poission 2.2.1

        cheaper electricity not.

        In july there was a significant demand driven energy spike during the cold snaps,

        Due to lower hydro levels at the time,thermal generation and the closure of the north island paper mills overnight alleviated significant brownouts in the NI.

        https://www.transpower.co.nz/sites/default/files/images/16a%20Average%20Prices%20NI.png

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1

          The electricity industry is entering a time of massive change where big old power stations and transmission lines are being supplemented by local networks of people and communities who produce, sell, store, and buy their own electricity.

          So that’s a pretty big change being signalled, whereas your example references the status quo.

          I haven’t read the full policy, and I can still understand how the rise in private small scale generation can lower power prices, even without making any other changes.

      • eco Maori/kiwi 2.2.2

        GO Greens with whats happening in Texas should help the deniers see reality.
        But they will spin O we get storms like that every now an then.
        Now in reality heat is energy and the hotter Our earths Oceans gets the stronger the storms are. We should be learning from the past a lot of old civilization have stuffed up there environment and gone extinct.
        But those catastrophes were on a local scale the one we face now will be the whole
        Earth now everyone pull you head out and see reality and vote GREEN

      • Graeme 2.2.3

        “encouraging lines companies to work together and embrace new technology to bring down costs”

        It’ll need a bit more than encouragement, more like a total re-organisation of the sector and total rewrite of the Electricity Act. The present structure is all around centralised generation and distribution, allowing that to get partially turned inside out is going to involve breaking up some entrenched monopoly mindsets.

        Not that that will be a bad thing.

      • timeforacupoftea 2.2.4

        Heavens !
        “$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills”.
        I thought the Green Party are against big business now they what to subsidise big business and shareholders to the sum of $112 million.

        The Green Party should have stuck to there old tax policy of first $10,000 earned tax free.

        It is no wonder I have thrown in the Green Towel.

        • weka 2.2.4.1

          “I thought the Green Party are against big business”

          Why would you think that?

        • mikesh 2.2.4.2

          It only helps big business by enabling them to sell more power, which is a good thing if it helps low earners keep warm in winter. After all one could, I suppose, argue that welfare benefits subsidise big business by enabling beneficiaries purchase the necessities of life.

    • Macro 2.3

      Still in the dark ages I see.
      Wind power now directly competing with Coal on Cost
      Solar now cheaper than Fossil Fuels
      These facts have been around for several years now. Interestingly India signed up to the Paris accord after the technology developed in the US for the most efficient PV panels was made available to them after negotiation at the time of the Paris COP.
      So any bullshit you might spout about – but but India!! China!!! is just that – Bullshit! These populous countries which are now energising their population have access to the most efficient renewable energy systems available, and are transforming the way they are developing. Coal is now so unwanted that the economy of Australia which until recently was very much based on exporting this foul stuff by the mega tonne is now seriously under threat.
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/25/coal-in-decline-adani-in-question-and-australia-out-of-step
      As for your ingenuous angst wrt “Bird choppers!”

      The RSPB* says it supports wind power – not because windfarms pose a lower risk to birds than other energy sources – but because in its view climate change poses the “single greatest long-term threat” to bird species. Climate change is predicted to harm bird populations by affecting breeding or migration patterns, or altering their habitats.

      There is evidence to show that in certain, specific locations windfarms have caused significant fatalities amongst birds of prey – but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence supporting the conclusion that birds of prey will be ‘massacred’ on a wider scale. The few studies on windfarm siting are also encouraging, indicating that it can be used as an effective tool to reduce mortality. Compared to other aspects of modern society, careful planning can lead to much-reduced mortality.

      * Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
      https://www.carbonbrief.org/bird-death-and-wind-turbines-a-look-at-the-evidence
      The only NZ raptors are Hawks, Falcons, and Ruru Falcons and Ruru are unlikely to be found in areas of windfarms.

      • Stuart Munro 2.3.1

        There’s a non-chopping version of wind generator now, that might suit NZ’s windier spots.

        https://www.theverge.com/2015/5/16/8615089/vortex-bladeless-wind-turbines-shake-to-generate-electricity

        • Macro 2.3.1.1

          Thanks for the link Stuart, Interesting concept – I wonder how the pilot project went?

          Checking up I see that Vortex are working on small scale local projects – for which they would be ideal!

          Vortex Bladeless is working three different products. The main characteristics of the three products are:[10]

          Vortex Atlantis: 3 meters height and 100W generation capacity, working along with solar panels, mainly to bring energy to an off grid locations.[4]
          Vortex Mini: 13 meters height and 4 kW generation capacity, mainly for small-scale/residential wind.[10]
          Vortex Grand: 150 meters height and 1MW generation capacity, capable of generating electricity for 400 houses.[10]

          A small farm of those would be great for small towns such as I live in. Something to investigate.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_Bladeless

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4

      Didn’t read the policy, can’t wait to display complete ignorance. Do people get paid to come here and make National voters look like idiots or something?

    • Gristle 2.5

      Nuclear power is not cheaper. Westinghouse has sought protection from creditors as its two latest nuclear power plant projects estimated to go 50% over budget and years late in delivery. Same thing happening at the other new build site in the US. Consumers being forced to pay for projects that have been canned with $10B already spent.

      Perry’s report on US electricity industry was meant to show a strong role for coal. Surprise outcome was that wind, solar and batteries will become big players in creating a stable electricity supply as nuclear and coal diminish.

      So go green now.

    • tracey 2.6

      Has anyone cost nuclear power for NZ? I think you will find cost not other considerations are the block.

      • Graeme 2.6.1

        The size of them is also a huge problem here, it would be really hard to integrate them into our grid and maintain supply security if there was a problem with the nuke.

        • tracey 2.6.1.1

          That is my understanding too. Anyone who chides the Greens and mentions NP is just shit stirring

        • CoroDale 2.6.1.2

          Solar plus advanced battery technology is the most likely development. Gareth H took lots of shit for talking about solar, while technocrates talked wind. It only takes a small advances in battery tech and the line costs come down….

          Nuke is very unlikely, but you’re wrong the way you talk only about nukes from the shelf. Buying from the inbred first cousins of the oil-barons, is maybe not so business savvy. If we pulled from TPP, China (or Malaysia) would probably talk seriously about sharing Thorium developments with us. Waikato Uni was once offered a small nuclear-reactor as part of the “Atoms for Peace” cold-war competition. They only turned it down as there was no public finance for the 20 staff to run it. That wasn’t for electricity, but guess what, technology as developed in the last 70 years or so. The Kaipara Harbour was also measured up for a full scale project. That was in the days when we where still as friendly with Russia as we where with the US. They where giving shit away just to win friends! Ironically that Kaipara location is today and organic farm 🙂

          Hey, did anyone ever wander what sort of battery they used in that satellite they sent to Pluto? When official explanations are dependent on supply and demand graphs, it’s okay to be skeptical.

          • Exkiwiforces 2.6.1.2.1

            Actually it was the old wartime airfield at Seagrove that surveyed in the 50’s- 60’s for nuclear power station as some prospectors found uranium in the Buller region and the government of the day thought it could provide cheap power to Auckland. Also around this time there was talk of a joint Commonwealth Nuclear Weapons/ Space program between the UK, Canada, Australia, NZ, and South Africa.

          • McFlock 2.6.1.2.2

            Solid-state radioactive generator in the Pluto mission, wasn’t it? Single use, one job, fixed lifespan. What’s your point?

      • alwyn 2.6.2

        There was going to be a Nuclear Power station in New Zealand in the 1970s.
        A lot of work was done by the then MOW and NZED during the 1960s and early 1970s.
        It was only scrapped because they discovered the Maui gas field.
        If you wanted to avoid nuclear power it obviously paid to do offshore oil exploration.

    • Brigid 2.7

      “windmills that kill and maim birds” On purpose?

  3. One Two 3

    ‘Zero Carbon Act’

    No, that’s not what it must be

  4. Good policy – real action, real hope, and real heart and a great lead for Labour. Good politics imo.

    • alwyn 4.1

      You will have to hope Labour, or National, pick up the lead if you want to see it adopted.
      The Green Party aren’t going to be in Parliament to try and do it themselves. I think the most they will get is under 4%.
      I don’t know whether to admire or feel sorry for Mr Shaw.
      He, and the party he leads, are dead but they aren’t going to lie down.

      • marty mars 4.1.1

        They are as far from dead as you can get al, they are ALIVE. With ideas and hope and votes.

        Don’t worry about the Greens, they will be there with Labour as the gnats and their cursed support parties whither and grow depleted. It is happening al, a change for the better.

        • alwyn 4.1.1.1

          I really don’t think that Shaw is a 21st century Joe Hill.
          He’s just as dead of course.
          Perhaps he is a reincarnation of St Denis, the patron saint of Paris of whom it is said that it isn’t the distance he walked that was the miracle but the fact that he took the first step?
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis

          • marty mars 4.1.1.1.1

            He is just a man – a competent, intelligent leader of a political group helping save people. Not bad really – he doesn’t need sanctification he’s okay already.

          • tracey 4.1.1.1.2

            Then there is Bill English who may be about to go down in history as failing to lead a party to victory twice, over a decade apart

            • alwyn 4.1.1.1.2.1

              That would not be uncommon, if it were to happen.
              Harry Holland was one.
              Jeanette Fitzsimons is a more recent one who never did make it into Government. She was of course the leader through more than 2 failures. At least Bill has had 18 years as a member of the Government.
              I’m not quite sure how you would classify Jim Anderton and Winston Peters but they both had multiple failures over a very long period.
              Not all parties are quite as brutal as the Labour Party in defenestrating their failures.

      • tracey 4.1.2

        Labour is already campaigning under 3 Green slogans and Nats are pretending the environment matters more than they have before.

      • Brigid 4.1.3

        I doubt that Mr Shaw admires or feels sorry for you though.

  5. CLEANGREEN 5

    I support the zero carbon policy entirely and it must be levied on road freight industry straight away Green’s and don’t get boxed into a corner by the powerfal lobby group for road freight “Road transport Forum run by “ex national MPs” mostly.

    They are out to kill our carbon zero friendly rail!!!!!

    • alwyn 5.1

      Please enlighten me.
      Who are these “run by “ex national MPs” mostly” you so blithely talk about?
      I thought the CEO was Ken Shirley who was, of course a former Labour MP and Cabinet member.

      • joe90 5.1.1

        Friedlander was a National MP and Shirley betrayed labour voters, jumping at the chance to join Douglas’s ACT.

        He’s yours.

        • alwyn 5.1.1.1

          I assure you he isn’t “mine”.
          I am not a member of any party, so none of them are “mine”.
          He also was never a National MP, was he? The commenter expressly claimed that it was being run by “ex-national MPs”.

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