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Having a say on how NZ transitions to a post-carbon society

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 am, January 31st, 2021 - 99 comments
Categories: climate change, james shaw - Tags: , , , , ,

Tomorrow, the government’s Climate Change Commission (an independent Crown Entity) is opening consultation for the first time on how New Zealand should meet its climate action obligations,

We will be consulting with the public from 1 February – 14 March 2021 on a draft of our first package of advice to Government on the actions it must take to reach net-zero by 2050, and ensure a transition to a low-emissions, climate resilient and thriving Aotearoa.

As climate campaigner David Tong explains below, this is an incredibly important opportunity for New Zealanders to have a say in how NZ transitions, and that we shouldn’t leave it to the status quo powers that be,

(thread may display better on twitter for mobile users)

There’s a backgrounder from RNZ here, including what to expect from the Climate Change Commission’s report (due out today), and commentaries from climate scientist Dave Frame and 350.org on what should be happening. Shifting from carbon offsetting to more fundamental changes by industry, and the government being clearer on how emission lowering targets should be met seems key.

The commission is expected to recommend the scale and pace of change.

For those feeling jaded or powerless about the political inaction on climate, a few points. One is that we have a committed Minister of Climate Change, from a political party that wants far more action than we are currently seeing, and who consistently points out the importance of NZ citizens pushing the government harder. This means someone in government is listening. Here is Shaw after last week’s action by School Strike for Climate,

The other point is that political parties are constrained by the nature of our electoral system. We have a clunky kind of representational democracy, not a particularly participatory one. Our representatives can only go so fast if most of the people are not yet committed to change.

The corollary of that is if enough people stand up the government will follow, and this is an opportunity to be heard. The more people that engage in the political processes, the more likely it is that parliament will do what is needed. That’s me basically saying that if we want Labour, now unconstrained by NZ First, to act boldly, we need to urge them in the strongest terms.

For those that feel the Climate Commission’s plan is insufficient, there’s also the Powerdown, and we should still be taking it to the streets or wherever we each can best effect change. All political change comes first from the edge, so take heart that there are still many things we can do to influence what happens next.

Looking for ideas on what New Zealand should do? Leading edge organisations have active campaigns and plans for how New Zealand can transition justly and effectively. Greenpeace’s Green Covid Recovery and Regenerative Farming Revolution plans are good starting points, as is the Green Party’s policy platform where climate and just transition is built in throughout the policies.

David Tong again, the week the Zero Carbon Act passed in 2019,

Now’s the time to fight for more.

 

UPDATE:

The Climate Change Commission’s Draft Advice and Evidence report.

Newsroom’s overview of the report.

 

99 comments on “Having a say on how NZ transitions to a post-carbon society ”

  1. mango 1

    Perhaps now people will start to understand that buisness as usual has no future ( something that has been increasingly apparent for many decades now). I hope to see more mainstream discussion of things like degrowth but it is still going to be a big societal shift.

    • weka 1.1

      Seems like lots of potential with this, and I hope people do step up and don't leave it to the mainstream powerholders in society to haggle over.

      I've seen a huge shift in NZ in talking about climate in the past five years. I reckon we will see something similar in the discussion about degrowth. Shaw was talking in his state of the nation speech in 2018 about Kate Raworth's doughnut economics model. Having the Greens in government sowing those seeds is gold. Greenpeace and other NGOs are laying down tracks too.

  2. RedLogix 2

    As I've outlined elsewhere the only strategy that works is an engineering approach to 100% de-carbonising our energy system. It's the only approach that will gain a consensus across the whole of society and the only method that will have any useful impact on climate.

    Everything else is a dangerous distraction.

    • mango 2.1

      I did really appreciate your efforts in that regard to put your point of view across. You explained the facts very well but I don't believe that you did make a case that an engineering only approach was the only possible solution and I don't believe that it is a "dangerous distraction" to say so.

      I don't propose to re argue it here but I will continue to respectfully disagree.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        but I don't believe that you did make a case that an engineering only approach was the only possible solution

        I haven't completed that series, and fair enough I haven't yet made that case directly.

        I should probably pull finger and get on with it. blush

  3. Ad 3

    That has got to be the most brutal time to do such a huge consultation.

    There will be no story in the news other than the vaccine rollout, both here but also in Australia and the rest of the world.

    We've already seen moral scrambling between the EU and the UK – and the politics of that looks like the UK is being reminded of their choice to be outside the EU.

    Moral contests about climate change are just getting lost and there's not much anyone can do about it honestly.

    The global inequality that the rollout will drive over 2021-2024 will just swamp public discourse.

    And I expect it will make both policymakers and politicians exceedingly conservative about any perceived disturbance to recovery.

    My minor advice is: support the major submitters like GenZero and Forest&Bird. They will have the focus to see through the chaos ahead and do a decent submission.

    • weka 3.1

      or, now's the time to fight for more. Lots of NZers want change, lots understand how covid impacts and want our covid responses to include climate action. Many people across many organisations, including MSM, are on board. Plenty there to work with.

    • Pat 3.2

      All possible….and if it plays out thus then half of the decade available to transform our economy will have been wasted making a near impossible task more difficult.

    • RedLogix 3.3

      And I expect it will make both policymakers and politicians exceedingly conservative about any perceived disturbance to recovery.

      Exactly. Now is absolutely the dumbest time to be talking about intentional 'de-growth'. Not only will we be dealing with the consequences of COVID and US isolationism, but crucially 2022 marks the year in which fully half the boomers will be retired – globally.

      Never before have our economic systems had to deal with a demographic inversion where we have more older people than younger. There's your degrowth right there, it sneaked up on us while everyone was repeating unthinking mantra's like 'it's impossible to have infinite growth on a finite planet'.

      The good news is that if we drop the 'de-growth' framing and pivot toward a 'de-carbonise' strategy – this is precisely the kind of literally constructive plan politicians can enthusiastically take to the public. Far from being a setback, the challenges of this decade may well present the best opportunity we've ever had on this issue.

      • Ad 3.3.1

        I'm certainly convinced that commuters (for example) in NZ cities are utterly fed up with car dependence, but I'm not convinced they feel safe enough to rely on an alternative network. Only two cities in New Zealand take anything like a reasonable percentage of trips taken.

        You can't burn a platform until you've built the next one.

        It would take pretty impressive political narration to turn 2020s national unity (from fear) into a national decarbonised unity of hope.

        • Descendant Of Smith 3.3.1.1

          I think Uber shows (for all its flaws) how quickly consumers can change to reduce dependency. There's an increasing number of people who simply don't own a car or even have a licence who simply Uber when they need to.

          A similar change was seen with the move from landlines to cellphones.

          As a forever user of public transport the key to increased usage occurring is always when you see more women using public transport. The increase was quite noticeable after the introduction of the free transport for NZS. There was a significant and noticeable jump in the number of female commuters after that.

          With the aging population and the corresponding loss of licence (or confidence in driving) we are going to have to get our act together with public transport anyway.

          I've suggested for a while with lots of these things (rail, electricity generation, roading) there should be a double calculation to ascertain funding – an assessment of public good vs private good e.g. public transport might be 60% public good, 40% private good and should should be funded 60% from taxation and 40 % from ticket sales. This would move us away from the either or thinking that everything has to make a profit or everything has to be state funded.

          • Ad 3.3.1.1.1

            We do have successes in public transport.

            Auckland's Northern Busway now means that more than half of the people who travel across the Auckland Harbour Bridge on a weekday do so on a bus. So building that North Shore platform was effective.

            But check out those queues of cars on the Auckland region's motorways from dawn till dusk. So far as a percentage of trips taken we are standing still. After two decades of work on public transport projects, I'm no longer an optimist.

            • Foreign waka 3.3.1.1.1.1

              I don't believe what I am reading here. The public transport system is almost non existent in Wellington and surrounds. I have tried believe me, it would take me under best of circumstances 1.5 -2 hours on way to get to my workplace and god forbid if I want to get some groceries on the way home. I would need to get up at 2am to keep my job. It takes me 20 minutes each way to get to work by car, just as comparison. And don't ask me to bike, I might as well put a tent up at my workplace. If you need to pick up kids the whole scenario becomes a nightmare. I wonder whether all the commentators are living in a different world. Perhaps government employees within walking distance and/or train station?

              • Pat

                few questions…why do you need to pick up kids?….and groceries?….does it it take 1-2 hours because you need to change trains/buses?

                • Foreign waka

                  Hi Pat

                  Yes, and they go only every hour. It takes at least 3-4 hours out of my day just travelling and I still would have to walk quite a bit in every kind of weather to get to my workplace. No other drop offs, groceries etc. involved.

                  How stupid to have supermarkets off the beaten track too.

                  The public transport is really a joke to be honest.

        • RedLogix 3.3.1.2

          Well the socialist left could help a great deal if we dropped the apocalyptic thinking and the psuedo-marxist undertones that alienate at least 80% of voterland.

          Instead we link it to a broad, ambitious vision of how we can transform and expand our energy systems. Clean, cheap and abundant have to be the mantra, and then sell the sizzle on the economic opportunities not just in the direct engineering projects, but all the potential downstream benefits. Sell this as an opportunity to rebalance the economy with more good jobs, more profitable businesses – and crucially selling the idea that such an energy transition (like all others before it) will open up new possibilities in agriculture, manufacturing, and social development.

          It doesn't even have to be very detailed – just say that we're going to get started on the journey and we want to bring everyone along for the party.

          • Descendant Of Smith 3.3.1.2.1

            Though that rebalancing could be more than just more jobs but also better distribution of the work that is in existence at any given point in time e.g. deliver on some of the promise of more leisure time for all rather than some people working 40 hours or more and others having 100% leisure time.

          • KJT 3.3.1.2.2

            If the "socialist left" will just abandon their inconvenient push for a fairer more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable world.

            Because it may disturb your comfortable lifestyle.

            Say what you mean.

            I spend most of my days reconciling the "engineering" and social and economic views of the world. To make things work, it is never just one.

            Their will never be an "engineering" solution to AGW, as with our "economic solution" we use currently, it simply leads to reductions in pollution in one place, being overtaken by increases in resource use elsewhere.

            • RedLogix 3.3.1.2.2.1

              If the "socialist left" will just abandon their inconvenient push for a fairer more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable world.

              Absolute bullshit. That's an egregious example of putting words into someone else's mouth. It's wrong and you know it is.

              We have the same goal – but different means of getting there. And I've been both open and reasonably detailed (and I intend to continue to expand on this theme) in how I think it can be done.

              Their will never be an "engineering" solution to AGW, as with our "economic solution" we use currently, it simply leads to reductions in pollution in one place, being overtaken by increases in resource use elsewhere.

              Did you know that the three states with by far the lowest carbon intensity for their electricity production are Ontario, Sweden and France. And the one thing they all have in common is a substantial fraction of that electricity coming from nuclear power.

              Ontario is a standout success, reducing their electricity production CO2 intensity by a factor of 5 in the period 2000 – 2015.

              Sweden is investigating a CO2 capture technology that ultilises the waste heat from their existing nuclear power plant fleet. They stand a good chance of being the first carbon negative nation in the world.

              France has an enormously successful nuclear power fleet that has given them clean, stable, safe and low cost electricity for decades now.

              The idea we 'cannot engineer our way out of climate change' is utterly wrong on the facts.

              Better still the fourth generation of nuclear technology (and other alternatives) promises to leapfrog the existing tech, delivering an entirely new paradigm of clean, safe and abundant energy that will be used to de-couple human economies from exploiting natural resources. The more energy we have the closer we can viably approach 100% resource recycling, shifting our impact away from the natural world into a 'de-coupled' human domain.

              The critical idea to understand is that we save nature by not being dependent on it. The wildernesses that are left on earth, are the places we had no economic use for, yet we treasure them and visit them reverentially.

              This plan logically follows the great arc of known human history, the astonishing story of one species that has slowly, often painfully, bootstrapped itself with successive innovation to become less dependent on nature over time. And as a result we grew a thousand-fold, from a very precarious population of less than 10m globally, to what will be a foreseeable peak of around 10b. Unlike many apocalyptic, malthusian types on the left, I celebrate and deeply appreciate modernity and all it delivers into my life. And I want more of it, continuing to evolve and improve – for all of humanity.

              • KJT

                I don't see the point in talking to you Red.

                You've dug yourself so far down the rabbit hole, of US propaganda and fantastic hopeful thinking, you can't fathom your own BS.

                • RedLogix

                  I referenced facts and made my case positively. I also avoided personal attack or denigration.

                  On the other hand…

                  • KJT

                    The constant references to "lefties", when we know well who you are referring too, is not "denigration"?

                    As for "facts" constantly repeating US exceptionalist memes, as if repeating something often enough makes them true, is "referencing, facts"?

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                The wildernesses that are left on earth, are the places we had no economic use for, yet we treasure them and visit them reverentially.

                The wildernesses left on earth are degrading day by day, be it the Amazonian rain forest, the Arctic tundra, or marine environments and natural fisheries. Death by a billion cuts. Put simply, humans driven by need, want and greed will continue to degrade (transform if you prefer) natural environments until there's nothing left 'worth' saving.

                It’s not human nature to turn away from satisfying short-term wants and needs. Actively pursuing an illusory state of super-abundance will bring the tipping points closer faster, and maybe that's not such a bad thing given that Anthropocene collapse is inevitable.

                Liminal diasporas in the era of COVID-19
                Indeed, the Anthropocene’s “collapse of the age-old humanist distinction between natural history and human history” (Chakrabarty 2009) is itself silhouetted by what Thomas Nail (2019) has called “the Kinocene”, an epoch of movement characterized by the ontological sense of an era in which movement as much convulses human beings as it does life itself. To be is to be agitated.

                Deep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now
                Ialanti suggests that employing more experts in deep time reckoning would help organizations to adopt new policies, programs, and workplace norms to slow Anthropocene collapse. The conclusion advocates education to support thinking about long-term issues and to encourage young imaginations to develop the habit of thinking on long time scales. As interactions between natural and social systems become more disconnected through differently changing rhythms in the Anthropocene, a new temporal imagination is needed to refashion societies and intuitions to meaningfully think even a few generations ahead.

                Is there hope?
                If there is any hope worth having, in a time when we are rightly haunted by the thought of an ‘uninhabitable Earth’, then I don’t believe it lies in the triumph of reason, nor in the recovery of an imagined past. If I have any clue where it lies, I’d say it’s in the difficult work of learning to feel and think together again; to come down off the high and lonely horses that some of us were taught to ride, to recognise how much has been missing from our maps, how much has gone unseen in our worldviews.

                • RedLogix

                  All very interesting but it's not clear how any of that will reduce CO2.

                  And my point on wilderness stands only confirmed. We save it by not needing to use it because we have better options.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    So we're still degrading wilderness because we don't have better options? Ot we have better options but are choosing not to use them? Or something else? Tick tock….

                    A May 2018 report in The Guardian gives estimates for global mammalian biomass: Livestock 60%, humans 36%, wild mammals 4%.
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_impact_on_the_environment

                    Haven't 'we' done enough? Evidently not.

                    Interview: Climate change, environmental degradation top list of global risks — WEF director
                    The COVID-19 pandemic is increasing disparities and social fragmentation and will threaten the global economy in the next 3-5 years and weaken geopolitical stability in the next 5-10 years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in a new report on Tuesday.

                    Meanwhile, environmental concerns top the list of risks in terms of likelihood and impact in the next decade.

                    The WEF’s “Global Risks Report 2021” warned that the coronavirus pandemic threatens to scale back years of progress on reducing poverty and inequality and to further weaken social cohesion and global cooperation needed to address long-term challenges, such as environmental degradation.
                    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-01/19/c_139681623.htm

        • Incognito 3.3.1.3

          If by “car dependence” you mean something similar to crack addiction I think you’re close to reality, anything else is largely a choice. IMHO, having a car is in the same category of status symbols and personality extension & enhancement as owning more than one property (incl. a bach), a boat, and having overseas plus skiing holidays each year. However, it fills the same need and function for the less well-heeled, perhaps even more so. The number of large and expensive SUVs on the Motorway in rush hour each day with only person inside is dumbfounding. That said, I have noticed more Teslas on the roads, which really proves my point, as they are simply an overly expensive ‘nicotine patch’ for long-term ‘addicts’. The excuses to keep status quo are beyond pathetic but with timid leadership, lacking moral fortitude, one outcome is guaranteed: status quo. This year is out because it is The Year of the Vaccine, of course.

          No policy is going to succeed without addressing, i.e. integrating, human psychology. This fight is and won’t be fought on merit or technicalities but through populism, propaganda and anti-propaganda. National has already declared it off the table for the next three years, FFS! Expect a Dirty War.

          • Ad 3.3.1.3.1

            Labelling our millions of mums, dads, and students as crack addicts for taking the car in is maybe not the best place for your human psychology model to start.

            Movements have been successful with large scale mobilisation – and if we see one rise up in response to this consultation I'd be happy to join in.

            • weka 3.3.1.3.1.1

              the kids and grandkids of those millions of mums and dads aren't going to thank the resisters in 50 years time when their lives are unbearable.

              • Ad

                Stop digging intergenerational traps for yourself.

                • weka

                  stop digging traps for everyone from this point onwards. It's a comment on a blog not major climate campaign. The point was made well enough about the addictive nature of cars. People here are hardly the first to make that observation. Bring everything to the table.

            • Incognito 3.3.1.3.1.2

              Labelling our millions of mums, dads, and students as crack addicts for taking the car in is maybe not the best place for your human psychology model to start.

              Just as well I didn’t and nice of you to twist my meaning; do you want to throw in a photo of a happy nuclear family with a cute little puppy? Surely, those nice beautiful people cannot be wreckers of the environment!? But you’re right, let’s be PC and above all, kind. \sarc

              The inconvenient truth is that ugly outcomes are the consequences of (our) ugly behaviour. This is at the basis of all treatments of addiction. Avoiding and/or denying it won’t make it go away or better but neither does shaming & blaming with the associated guilt. The only realistic approach is not clever engineering or cunning politics but a hard look at ourselves and what we are doing to ourselves, our fellow humans, and to the environment and then adjusting our behaviour.

              I don’t get your second point; are you saying that you’ll wait for a movement to rise up? If not, then what? I thought there already is a CC movement but maybe not the kind of movement that you have in mind? What exactly are you waiting for? Maybe this Government is waiting for the exact same thing to happen? That would be spooky 😉

              • Ad

                The first thing I suggest you do is open up your loving arms to the Labour Party. That's where the power is for any Green. Shaw is exceptionally vulnerable within government for the remainder of the term. As you've seen this week, every other crisis gets swept away by Covid19.

                What you don't want is Green supporters so outraged by not meeting outrageous expectations that they dump Shaw by the end of this year, keep Davidson, and end up under 5%.

                • Incognito

                  Well, as it so happens, Labour has been courting me by reassuring me that the QV of my home will keep rising and I am rich on paper. However, power means nothing if it has no impact other than keeping status quo and this is the problem here, as I see it.

                  Covid-19 is no longer a crisis in NZ. It is managed and under control. We must be vigilant and compliant and we are still suffering from the economic and thus also the social impact. So, if it is a crisis that sweeps away every other crisis, I’d suggest that this is a deliberate and convenient manufactured crisis; Government is capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

                  I am sure there are outraged Green supporters who harbour outrageous expectations; it is almost a sine qua non of being a Green supporter, wouldn’t you say?

                  Undoubtedly, the Justice department is working hard on changes to our electoral law which has been touted as one of the reasons for deferring the OIA review (https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/124076652/official-information-act-review-kicked-down-the-road) but I’m not holding my breath for the threshold the be lowered to 4% (https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/300212306/a-fouryear-parliamentary-term-be-careful-what-you-wish-for). I know, it is an outrageous expectation. So, indeed, all those Green supporters will desert the GP in droves and sink the party in 2023 if their outrageous expectations are not met; we have seen this before, haven’t we? At least they’ll die fighting for something that’s worth fighting for unlike the kind smile & wave party that is doing its utmost to keep the ‘centre’ on board and lower public expectations.

                  Here’s an outrageous expectation: I expect at least 70% of the NZ population to be fully vaccinated and having immunity against Covid-19 by Christmas, this year. If not, Labour supporters will dump Ardern, keep Robertson, and end up under 50%.

                  Anyway, this is going off-topic and I need to read a report with outrageous recommendations.

                  Bye.

          • RedLogix 3.3.1.3.2

            If by “car dependence” you mean something similar to crack addiction

            Yet I distinctly recall my mother telling me how getting their first car was by far the single biggest positive change to her life.

            Freedom (there's that moral value word again) to travel autonomously is something most people will be very reluctant to let go – unless we can offer them something equivalent or better.

            • Incognito 3.3.1.3.2.1

              We are talking past each other so no point continuing this convo.

              Bye.

            • Descendant Of Smith 3.3.1.3.2.2

              Yet for those of us unable to drive for various reasons bicycles and accessible public transport give us freedom. The societal dependency on driving and individual vehicles is a straight jacket – not only in getting around and dependancy on other people but in employment (the number of jobs that have a drivers license as a pre-requisite even when it isn't needed, the confusion by interviewers when you get interviewed for management jobs and say you don't need the company car even after you point out the savings they will make in cost and FBT – having a car is so ingrained in society that people struggle to cope with the notion that some do not drive.

              Then there is the constant issues with identification where only a driver's license or a passport is acceptable which further marginalises those without vehicles and too poor to travel overseas. From opening bank accounts, to registering for government services – the car dependancy has quite significant impacts on those who aren't part of the group.

              • Pat

                Not to mention how almost all aspects of our lives have developed with the assumption of its use…..think the weekly supermarket shop, loss of local facilities to commutable hubs for services, access to healthcare….the list is long and has largely occurred in only the last 50 years.

              • RedLogix

                For family reasons I've mentioned here before, I'm quite aware of the impact that not being able to drive has on some people and the communities they live in. While cars brought huge benefits to most people, like most things human they're far from perfect. We can do better.

                Now consider this – fully autonomous EV's that you don't need any license or ability to drive.

          • Foreign waka 3.3.1.3.3

            OMG, another one of those I am ok, the hell with the rest. Completely divorced from the daily live of an average person that wants to hold on to their job. Unless you change the system of wealth distribution, hell freezes over to give up my car that allows me to work, get my groceries, visit my friends etc…

            • Descendant Of Smith 3.3.1.3.3.1

              Bit melodramatic. There's those of us with disability who have never driven and raised kids, had friends, got jobs and so on. You're only one accident/illness away from being in a similar position.

              You do have to make strategic decisions such as buying a house near a bus stop and as I mentioned earlier there are some disadvantages.

              But apparently to you I'm not an average person. The level of disability that someone incurs isn't their illness or impairment it is how society around them is constructed and behaves. The fact is that we don't value those who don't drive in the same way as we value those who do and we don't ensure any sort of equality of access. This continues with things like reducing CBD's and building big malls on the outskirts of town.

              Ironically COVID-19 has given rise to a working from home ability for many people with disabilities which actually solves some of those issues. I have a friend in a wheelchair who is an IT nerd/geek/guru who now has much higher volumes of work and much more job satisfaction as he can manage so much better in his modified home four days a week than trying to navigate something as simple as heavy doors that open outwards to use the toilets at work on the one day he goes in. He is so much happier.

              "OMG, another one of those I am ok, the hell with the rest."

              I guess this was self-referential.

            • Descendant Of Smith 3.3.1.3.3.2

              "Unless you change the system of wealth distribution, hell freezes over to give up my car"

              Ironically you fail to understand the privileged position you are in due to the current model of wealth distribution by both having a car and being able to afford to run it. Cars by household in NZ runs at 92% the highest in the world.

              We shouldn't be surprised then that we have built a society in NZ around this assumption.

              • Foreign waka

                Working for 35 years at least 60 hours per week… I think I deserve the 'privilege' I have. I have never taken a cent of any benefit and have worked in menial jobs right up to managing businesses myself. So yes, I do know a lot about hard work, bite the lip and get on with it not asking for handouts every turn. Paid my taxes, plenty of those too. In fact I feel that it is just OK with me to support the system that provides for those in need. To facilitate this, time is a factor and 3-4 hours travel by public transport I will not do. Yes I have a car, paid for through hard work. I will certainly not feel ashamed or be bullied into believing that to be convincing I now need to spend 20% of my waking time every day to get completely pissed off with the public transport.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  "3-4 hours travel by public transport"

                  Really – I've used public transport for my entire life in various cities and towns in NZ and unless going out of town I've never had it take 3-4 hours.
                  When I had to travel to another place used to be able to enjoy the pleasure of long rail trips which are pretty non-existent by now.

                  Currently it takes me 10 minutes to get to work. In Wellington it took about half an hour on the train – about the same time it took in the car, New Plymouth 15 minutes on the bus and so on.

                  If you live 3-4 hours away from work by public transport then you are hardly the average worker are you. If you need a vehicle to do your job i.e. you travel throughout the day then no one is saying you need to use public transport instead of. That's a pretty non-sensical position to take.

                  Good public transport systems improve productivity and create equality and opportunity. We have neglected ours which then marginalises those who don't drive. It used to be better.

    • Descendant Of Smith 3.4

      "That has got to be the most brutal time to do such a huge consultation."

      Maybe, maybe.

      What COVID-19 showed for instance was an over dependence on overseas supply chains. In Africa there was lots of pivoting to have for instance car companies produce ventilators (and the realisation that the same technology and technical skills were needed for both), South Africa realised that the massive costs they were incurring from sending raw product for solar glass panelling overseas and the cost of pallets and pallets of the panels coming back could be easily saved by local manufacturing and so on.

      Thinking about what we can manufacture locally with our raw materials that we currently export, how we can create jobs through shorter supply chains and so on all create opportunity. Other countries are certainly pivoting in this was – no reason we can't as well.

      • Pat 3.4.1

        the transport factor has been subsidised out of existence…you can freight a container from China to Auckland for much less than you can freight the same container from Auckland to ChCh….the theory is great, but in practice we know where the sales are.

  4. mosa 4

    Will what we want be binding or just an exercise to see which way the wind is blowing ?

    The more promises we get about action the less progress we get.

    • weka 4.1

      There's something somewhat binding in the process,

      Following consultation, we will incorporate feedback before finalising the advice and presenting it to the Government by 31 May.

      The Government will have until 31 December to decide whether to accept our recommendations. If it chooses not to take on the Commission’s advice, it must publish an alternative plan for addressing climate change in Aotearoa and reaching its targets.

      https://www.climatecommission.govt.nz/news/upcoming-consultation/

      I don't know what that means in real terms, but I think that combined with sustained public pressure will be more effective than what we have now.

  5. millsy 5

    What we really need is a Think Big 2.0 — some sort of massive state led program to pull this off.

    We would have more of a chance pulling this off if it was 1981, and we had all these govt departments like MOW, NZED, NZPO, NZR, etc at our disposal, but these are all gone now, and I have no idea what we can do about it.

  6. Herodotus 6

    We don't have the motivation to protect our environment under current legislation, that I am sure most would expect to be policed and the companies actions are abhorrent. So if we cannot look after the environment & see people trashing it, how do we then expect to see change due post carbon transition that will impact (in the short to medium term at least) adversely on peoples living standards ?

    "Minister of local government Nanaia Mahuta told Morning Report these issues would be addressed by the new water regulator, but not for at least a couple of years."

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/435220/contaminated-waste-dumping-ardern-weighs-options-against-companies-in-breach

    • Incognito 6.1

      This Government, and I mean the New Zealand Labour Party, won’t die in the trenches for anything or anybody for the simple reason that it won’t have to or at least believes it won’t have to. It knows it is relatively safe in numbers and has a good chance of being re-elected if it can avoid an outright war with National. National knows this and will be upping the ante as the year/term progresses and continue needling Government, i.e. BAU.

      Important things such as the OIA review are being deferred. The reason why I raise this is because it is an important mechanism for ordinary citizens (and what’s left of the Fourth Estate and investigative journalism in NZ) finding out about what is going on and to keep Government accountable. Especially when we are still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which seems to suck up all of Government’s oxygen (and many dollars).

      Labour’s Election-2020 slogan is Steady as She Goes or perhaps Manjana would have been more truthful. I fear that a lot of water has to flow under the bridge before Labour will tackle the infamous “generation’s nuclear moment’ and in Auckland’s case it will be a damned slow trickle from empty dams; it is because it did not rain enough …

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Turning against the government before it's even put the consultation document out suggests you need a reset in your mind. The results from that election should give everyone with high expectations a similar reset.

        • Pat 6.1.1.1

          point of order…the 'government' is not releasing the consultation document…the INDEPENDENT climate commission is.

        • Incognito 6.1.1.2

          No, I am not into adversarial politics, but I have indeed been lowering my expectations steadily since Election Day and thank you for your excellent advice. Just one question: how low do I have to go in my adjustment?

          • Descendant Of Smith 6.1.1.2.1

            I'm more fortunate than you – my expectations were low to start off with.

            That being said the two tier support system during COVID for recently laid off mainly white people versus increasing benefit rates for mainly poor brown people did shock me out of any complacency that they could quietly mosey along without highlighting in explicit terms that lack of care and compassion for our most vulnerable.

            Not surprising that this occurred especially after missing the opportunity to increase benefit rates immeadiately after the WEAG report – just that it was so in your face and blatant.

            • Incognito 6.1.1.2.1.1

              My expectations are and have always been notoriously low, which is a character flaw, I suppose. However, briefly, I felt motivated by constructive rhetoric coming from Labour and the Green Party but it changed when Labour obtained its absolute majority. That motivation has now almost completely made place for apathy 🙁 My comments today are the final twitches of the mental corpse that once was my motivation. Alternatively, I have not taken well to being back at work.

          • weka 6.1.1.2.2

            come on, just a little bit longer and Labour will do something, give them a chance.

            /sarc

            Or, we understand that the green bau centrists will hold into Labour's centrist position, and we work with and around that. Labour are going to be increasingly vulnerable and the more we can shift public perceptions on climate action now, the more chance there will be to do what is needed.

            • Incognito 6.1.1.2.2.1

              So many times now I’ve held on to a bursting bladder waiting for Labour to do something at the very last moment and it never has.

              The shifting of perceptions in either party, or in the Opposition parties for that matter, goes both ways. I don’t think that is even the issue; the issue is that they have completely different agendas.

              Indeed, instead of wasting time & effort on entrenched parties, we should put our energy in shifting public perception and opinion. Let Government keep its focus on Covid while grassroots conversations and actions change the ground underneath it. Bugger the parties.

              • weka

                Bugger the parties. Brilliant, thanks.

              • Sacha

                Indeed, instead of wasting time & effort on entrenched parties, we should put our energy in shifting public perception and opinion. Let Government keep its focus on Covid while grassroots conversations and actions change the ground underneath it. Bugger the parties.

                I believe that is the strategy younger activists have arrived at. Let's support them.

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    I was part of a large "public consultation" during the Clark years – it wasn't an edifying process, nor were those conducting it receptive to unscripted feedback.

    Responses to climate and environment issues to date have been at best underwhelming – with a few exceptions – there has been some work on alternative crops for Northland for example. NZ will be getting the hot shoulder from Paris Agreement partners, and it will more likely be this than either public support or well thought out solutions that motivates any change that eventuates.

    Reckon I'll play the volenti non fit injuria card unless a credible effort is made.

    • Macro 7.1

      I was part of a large "public consultation" during the Clark years – it wasn't an edifying process, nor were those conducting it receptive to unscripted feedback.

      Yes been there, and done that too.

      I shall submit again, and make this point recently tweeted by NIWA

      There is also an approximately one-in-six chance that the remaining carbon budget for 1.5C has already been exceeded.

      In our new study, published in Nature’s Communications Earth and Environmentjournal, we present an integrated approach to quantifying these uncertainties and incorporating them into estimates of the remaining carbon budget.

      For the 1.5C target, we estimate a range of 230-440bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) from 2020 onwards, which corresponds to a two-in-three to one-in-two chance of not exceeding 1.5C of global warming since pre-industrial times.

      This is equivalent to between six and 11 years of global emissions, if they remain at current rates and do not start declining.

      However, we emphasise that the remaining carbon budget is not a single number, but rather a distribution that reflects the probability of meeting a target – that is, the greater the chance of meeting the budget, the smaller amount of CO2 that can be emitted.

      Essentially we have no time left. We are already at more than 1 degree of warming.

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.1

        Yes – I follow the ice melting – this ship of fools has too much way on her to turn short of two degrees. Five maybe, if we really go for it.

        Increasing rates of global warming have accelerated Greenland's ice mass loss from 25 billion tons per year in the 1990s to a current average of 234 billion tons per year. This means that Greenland's ice is melting on average seven times faster today than it was at the beginning of the study period.

        Hope we're ready for change at that level – don't see it myself.

    • Forget now 7.2

      Surely the; volenti, have to be voluntary, SM? Ignorami non fit injuria, just doesn't have the same ring – though that ignorance may be largely voluntary. You can't just ignore the systematic propagandising by fossil fuel corporations that dates back decades!

      Arguably for the century and a quarter since Arrhenius (Nobel prize laureate for his discovery of acid dynamics) published this:

      "On the influence of carbonic acid in the air upon the temperature of the ground"

      • Stuart Munro 7.2.1

        The corporates and their political lap dogs are wont to go their own way, against my objections.

        Watch prescribed lifestyle changes carve out an exception for air travel for instance – still banking on sunset lifestyles like tourists and airfreighted crayfish exports.

        Easiest transport deterrence is a dollar per cc rating on registration costs – SUVs would vanish away like the dew in the morn. It would go some way to favouring artisanal fishing and farming practices too, which have virtues that go unrecognized at present.

  8. weka 8

    anyone here know?

    • Pat 8.1

      the carbon measure is in the resource use….in NZ we will measure the reduced oil use with an increased e vehicle use (hopefully)

    • Macro 8.2

      Yeah we have exported a lot of our carbon emissions in the 80's. That is why Asian countries have become some of the largest emitters, because they have imported much of the manufacturing emissions from other countries.

      On a visit to my home town last year I called in to the factory where my dad used to work – now a mecca of boutique breweries. In its day it consumed huge amounts of oil through the boiler house to provide steam for the manufacture of the tyres. The massive chimney still stands. Tyres are all imported now.

      • weka 8.2.1

        But disposed of locally 😈

        Apparently there is some international work being done so that countries like NZ don't expect other countries to overshoot their targets (and vice versa with NZ and say milk powder exports). But I can't help but feel this is a kind of insane accounting. The good thing about the report is that it's a huge shift into the right direction and it opens up the discussion about what we need to do.

  9. Pat 9

    Having skimmed the CC commission report I note that there is no need for the Gov. to wait until the end of the year to implement many of the policy prescriptions

  10. I imagine there will now be a reintroduction of the 'feebate' scheme for electric vehicles that nzfist canned last year. While I don't object to the plan, I'd like to see some costings done on conversions from petrol to EV's, especially for classic cars or newer vehicles.

    I wonder how many emissions would be saved by upgrading over an influx of new builds from foreign manufacturers, when local tradesmen could benefit from the work?

    • Forget now 10.1

      I have been driven in an old mini (not one of the newer, less cramped, Mini Coopers) that had been transformed into an EV. I didn't take the wheel myself, but still noticed that it had impressive near-silent acceleration.

      The cost is really in the batteries, and with minis being, all but; a roofed go-cart, the power requirements are (appropriate to its mass) low. So; cheaper to convert than some of the bigger vehicles I have seen. I wouldn't try towing a trailer with one though!

      But speaking of trailers; Trucks' (& buses') conversion might reduce carbon emissions more than private vehicles.

      • The Al1en 10.1.1

        Here's a series of fairly in depth videos from a Bristol company who are in the process of getting conversion kits together. They use an MX5 as their test bed.

        Maybe government funding could get something like this on the road (pun intended) down here.

      • KJT 10.1.2

        In New Zealand getting freight off trucks and onto electric rail and ships, will do much more to reduce emissions than any electrification of long haul trucking.

        The "last mile" is still a problem, but short range electric freight and commuter vehicles can cover that. These operating mostly within cities do not need the range and rare element batteries needed, if we simply replace our current vehicle fleet with the same capabilities and numbers of vehicles.

        The paradigm, of how we finance and use vehicles needs changing, as well.

        In cities, and for local deliveries, for example, we need robotic golf carts, not car/trucks that are capable of 100k/hr for hours on a highway.

        • weka 10.1.2.1

          there's also a lot of unnecessary miles. eg our food distribution system that trucks vegetables from the farmer to a centralised depot and then back to the supermarket that the farmer shops at. NZ Post apparently do a lot of double miles like that too.

          • KJT 10.1.2.1.1

            True. But the effect on AGW, depends on the efficiency of the means of transport also.

            Shipping mutton from NZ all the way to the UK, emits less than trucking it from Brussels to London.

            Railing produce from Taranaki then trucking it from a central depot, in Auckland is another example. If those were electric trains and in city shorthaul trucks?

  11. Maurice 11

    An interesting comment from Toyota's CEO

    https://carbuzz.com/news/toyota-ceo-has-harsh-words-about-electric-vehicles

    Let’s stipulate one more fact: Whether cars keep burning gas or run on electricity, Toyota is poised to make and sell millions of electric vehicles. It already has the game-changing solid-state battery coming on line. It launched the Prius way back in 1997. Toyota has not only not resisted the adaptation of EVs, it has led the way. Fundamentally, Toyota does not care if cars are powered by gas or nuclear fusion engines as long as it maintains its position and sells millions of them.

    So Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s comments at the company’s year-end press conference deserve notice and no little amount of respect. He knows more about cars and their economic ecosystem than just about anyone else on the planet.

    The Wall Street Journal was in attendance and noted the CEO’s disdain for EVs boils down to his belief they’ll ruin businesses, require massive investments, and even emit more carbon dioxide than combustion-engined vehicles. “The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse,” he said. “The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets… When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline,’ do they understand this?”

    CarBuzz has mischaracterized Toyoda’s comments. It’s not “disdain for EVs” he’s expressing. It’s disdain for the failure to count the cost of what politicians are proposing. More EVs will demand more electricity.

  12. mango 12

    I think that people should read this.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/11/19/65048/why-the-electric-car-revolution-may-take-a-lot-longer-than-expected/

    Plans dependent on high EV uptake may be much harder to do than people think.

    • weka 12.1

      yep. And given how the US generates power, it's basically a bullshit approach.

      The great thing about the CCC plan is that it opens the debate.

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        And given how the US generates power

        Which of course is exactly why I've been advocating for the one approach that's clean, safe and abundant – yet rejected by Green movements everywhere.

        Oh well …

    • Andre 12.2

      That's a 2019 article so it's already well out of date.

      The article is skeptical of battery costs going below US$125/kWhr, but Tesla was widely believed to be below US$100/kWhr even before the announcement of their new 4680 battery form factor. Informed industry chatter suggests the 4680 cells could bring the cost close to US$50/kWhr. With cobalt-free chemistry.

      https://fcpp.org/2020/12/26/the-tesla-4680-battery-six-things-to-know/

      https://www.electrive.com/2020/12/29/panasonic-to-launch-4680-battery-cell-production-in-2021/

      That Technology Review article also made a big deal of the raw cost of materials being a limiting factor. Details were non-existent, but it appeared to assume there would be zero innovation in changing battery chemistry to lower cost materials, such as eliminating cobalt, and zero innovation in using materials more efficiently. But there are massive R&D efforts going onto both those factors, as well as other contributors to battery cost.

      • mango 12.2.1

        The laws of physics haven't changed sine 2019. And I'd believe MIT ahead of anything Elon Musk says. Even without Cobalt there is still Nickel as a significant factor. Material cost will always set a lower limit even if you can argue where that limit is.

  13. R.P Mcmurphy 13

    legalise pot so people have something to do at night!

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