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John Key is relaxed about COP21

Written By: - Date published: 3:09 pm, December 14th, 2015 - 34 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, john key, national, same old national, slippery - Tags: ,

The line has been drawn.  The world’s leaders want to restrict the increase in global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius.  This is the increase required so that the Pacific Islands can stay more or less intact.  Any greater increase than this will mean they will be inundated and then Bangladesh, Florida and many urban centres will follow suit.

Not only does the COP21 agreement set out the aspirational goal of preventing an increase of no more than 1.5 degrees but regular five yearly reviews of individual commitments will occur to make sure that the necessary savings are made.

You would expect that all leaders will now return to their home countries and work out what they can do to make their contribution to the collective effort and I am sure many of them are doing this.  But not our leaders.

From Morning Report:

Mr Groser said New Zealand would be able to keep its current target of reducing carbon emissions.

“That in itself is a stretch – there’s no doubt about it. Treasury has estimated [the cost at] over $30 billion, about $1350 per household, and that’s what we’ll do.”

Mr Groser said in the long run, New Zealand would have to do more to meet the agreement. Part of that would be finding technical solutions to agricultural emissions.

Environmental groups have said the government would need to backtrack on some of its policies in order to meet the commitments it made in Paris.

Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Russel Normans said, “The policies of the New Zealand government not only don’t match the commitments they made at the Paris meeting, but they certainly don’t come anywhere near the global goal of only 1.5°C of warming.”

Groser’s figure is close to that contained in the Government’s climate change discussion document which puts the annual cost of a 5% reduction of greenhouse gasses at $1,250 per household.

John Key was interviewed on Morning Report today and was his dissembling best.  Again from Radio New Zealand:

Mr Key told Morning Report New Zealand’s significant steps on emission reduction would not involve cutting back on the mining of oil, gas and coal.

“Not in terms of the production side of the house, if you like … I can’t exactly tell you off the top of my head how many barrels of oil we produce a day but it would be what Saudi Arabia, Iraq and those other countries, Iran, produce in a nano-second. It’s just not large … [t]he world’s going to continue to consume some of these products and we can’t stop that. The question is, can we get them to transition more rapidly to other forms of renewable energy? The answer is yes. But one of the fastest ways to do that is to stop the subsidisation of the consumption of fossil fuels and that’s really what the fossil fuel subsidy reform’s about.

New Zealand could, of course, just stop producing oil and gas and coal but realistically if we did that I don’t believe it would stop it being consumed. I think the rest of the world would just fill the very small gap we would leave.”

Mr Key said despite that New Zealand would have to make significant changes, which could cost households $100 a year, to reduce emissions. That would include increasing the country’s use of renewable energy from 80 percent to 90 percent of its total energy use.

Note the cost is now $100 per year or a cup of coffee a fortnight whereas Groser thought it was $1,350 per annum.  Interestingly the cost of a reasonably stellar 40% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions over 1990 levels was put at $1,800 per annum, a price I reckon most Kiwis would be happy to pay.

The contrast between how COP21 was presented by the international media and Key’s and Groser’s downplayed presentation is obvious.  Business as usual is no longer acceptable.  And Key and Groser need to work out who is telling the truth in relation to the cost and who is telling fibs.

34 comments on “John Key is relaxed about COP21”

  1. odysseus 1

    Whilst I accept what you say ( and like a wedding vow , I do ) , where the hell is the Labour party on this?

    • Sanctuary 1.1

      “…where the hell is the Labour party on this..?”

      Probably paralysed in a crypto-Blairist funk as they agonise about being triangulated on the issue.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        head.smacking.desk.perfect

      • mickysavage 1.1.2

        Sua William Sio has been very vocal on the issue …

        Sua William Sio: COP21 and the Pacific Islands

        • RedLogix 1.1.2.1

          Fair cop. Sio gets full credit.

          And while you could argue one MP can make a difference (like Kelvin has done with the Aussie deportees) … it just doesn’t look like Labour has their heart in it.

          As Sanctuary put it … with just one MP speaking out, it leaves the Party wriggle-room on the triangulation thingy.

        • odysseus 1.1.2.2

          Yes, but only in so far as highlighting the Nats lack of leadership and the deleterious effects of climate change on Pacific nations. Nothing about what Labour would do if in government.

          What is all too obvious is Labour’s lack of gumption on this issue – arguably ( actually, not arguably, but let’s be generous ) the most pressing issue of our generation.

  2. Coaster 2

    I disagree with your comment that most households in nz would be happy to pay $1800 per year to help this.

    Not sure where we would find that money, its quite a bit.

    I would be happy to pay it if we had it spare though.

    • AmaKiwi 2.1

      @ Coaster

      Here’s how to lie with statistics.

      Divide $1,800 by 365 days and then by 5 (a completely uneducated guess about the number of people per NZ household) and presto, you have $0.98 per person per day.

      It will cost less than $1 per day per New Zealander.

      Doesn’t that sound more comforting?

      They do it. You can do it, too.

      • Paul 2.1.1

        Under a dollar a day to save the planet.
        Seems an amazing deal.

      • b waghorn 2.1.2

        $1800 hundred off my wages is the difference between having some small pleasures and none. I,d want to be damn sure it was going to achieve something and not be paid to the best ets fiddler in town.

        • CR 2.1.2.1

          Don’t worry, b, we will be borrowing the money. It’s National.

          At just over a hundred bucks per household per year, that’s over $161 million per year, for the next 13 years, based on 2013 census data on number of households.

          What are we spending that on again? They’ve figured out how much it’s going to cost us to get our emissions down, but a bit vague on the actions we’re going to take that will cost us this much.

          Other than ‘increasing our use of renewables by 10%’.

  3. Pat 3

    international acceptance….National denial

  4. “Mr Key told Morning Report New Zealand’s significant steps on emission reduction would not involve cutting back on the mining of oil, gas and coal.”

    dirtkey is scum and those that vote for him are scumsuckers. He is dangerous, smarmy, vain and oblivious to anything other than his own image. That quote above shows why it is better to prepare for the worst because arsehole so called leaders like key will fuck us up. They.do.not.care.

  5. Detrie 5

    Our govt ‘leaders’ have admitted that half the emissions come from Agriculture. Sadly, they just recently sacked 83 expert, long-serving scientists and technicians who worked in this specific arena, thus saving AgReserch $5m in costs. (Much less than say a flag referendum). The reason given was such work had ‘no short term or commercial value’. Developing systems that could help reduce these huge emissions costs isn’t worthwhile? http://bit.ly/science-agcutbacks

    This is the problem when you get accountants, economists and/or right wing [dumb-ass] politicians making decisions in tech, scientific or environmental areas. They likely believe that universities can churn out instant scientists and as they pick up their new degree, infuse 25yrs of experience by way of a pill. Better still, perhaps they think they could outsource it to India or Pakistan via the net?

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Actually I think Groser was saying it was $1,350 over 13 years, which is $100 per year -> Key’s figure.

    So to get 40% emission reductions, costing $1,800 a year, is quite different than the current commitment of $100 per year.

  7. Detrie 7

    p.s. GNS awarded millions for oil research | Radio New Zealand News
    http://bit.ly/oilresearch

  8. maui 8

    Key also says in the Radio NZ article:

    You will see a push towards electric cars. I think you are going to have to see from New Zealand’s point of view a scientific solution to our agriculture emissions and frankly more happening in the sort of commercial sector. So there’s a lot of changes there. They’re all do-able but we’ll just need to push hard on those.”

    So our Government is pretty much relying on techno fixes to solve the problem, research into cows stopping farting and waiting for more electric cars to come online. Makes things easy when you don’t have to lift a finger and the wondrous market will come into play and fix everything.

    • Gristle 8.1

      Electric cars. Let’s just ignore how long it will take for nz to swap out its vehicle fleet.

      Going from memory the fuel used by the existing NZ fleet is around 455 TJ (TerraJoules). The existing electricity generating capacity is about 225TJ. Do you notice the mismatch? So how will we get the extra energy? Sure EVs are more efficient than ICE vehicles, and this could reduce the increase to say another 200TJ. The question of where all this extra energy comes from is yet to be addressed.

      Something has got to go pop.

  9. philj 9

    Save our lives on earth for a hundy a year per person ? Can this possibly be true/real? Was this the Sale Of The Millennium?

  10. Corokia 10

    “Mr Key said it was just impossible to believe that with all the money being spent and effort being made that there would not be technological solutions found to reduce agricultural emissions”.

    On Planet Key, you believe that if you spend money you can change anything- including the physiology of cows.

    Yeah “technology will save us”- impossible to believe otherwise apparently. (You’d have thought we could just have fewer cows, but it seems that is the solution you can’t talk about)

    I guess Key would expect money can change the laws of physics too. And if the physicists tell him you can’t, he’ll just go and find another physicist who says you can, you know, like lawyers.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    You would expect that all leaders will now return to their home countries and work out what they can do to make their contribution to the collective effort and I am sure many of them are doing this.

    Not really because we don’t have any leaders. What we have is a bunch of petty dictators doing what Big Business and the rich tell them. I certainly won’t expect the necessary cuts in the next round of backslapping.

    COP 21 Paris Climate Summit Danger

    Step 1. If pledges work perfectly, they make all 2°C scenarios impossible.

    There’s a pretty picture as well.

    More twiddling by the ‘leaders’ while Rome burns.

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    I think there were two good Paris outcomes which no has mentioned yet:

    1. Climate change deniers have zero credibility.
    2. John Key has lost his manna as some sort of senior statesman.

    No Obama golf game at Maui this Christmas.

    • Paul 12.1

      I think Obama will invite him for a round for acting as his deputy/poodle on the TPP.

      • AmaKiwi 12.1.1

        @ Paul

        My comment about “senior statesman” was based on a Helen Clark comment. She said the turnover of heads of state was so rapid that after 5 years at these conferences many regarded her as an old timer. Example: Australia is rolling PMs out the door about once a year.

        There is manna that goes with that longevity. Two fossil awards destroy manna.

        I have no idea what Obama thinks of Key. Nor do I care. Key is our headache.

    • Sans Cle 12.2

      +100 regarding no credibility for CC deniers. This is what gives me hope for real change in the coming years.

  13. Paul Young 13

    Those cost figures Key and Groser are throwing around (and media uncritically reporting) are heavily exaggerated and misleading. See this post for a thorough debunking using all the Government’s own sources: https://garethsworld.com/blog/environment/six-ways-the-government-has-exaggerated-the-cost-of-meeting-climate-targets/

    The single biggest thing is they are comparing to a completely ridiculous baseline where the whole world does nothing at all on climate change. Roughly half the “cost” they are quoting is actually the modelled effect of global climate action – i.e. it is nothing to do with what target NZ sets. Most of the rest is the “cost” of keeping NZ’s emissions to 5% below 1990 levels, which we have already committed to achieve by 2020, and cannot avoid now (i.e. setting a weaker target would likely be more costly because it would so severely damage our reputation).

    Total sham economic analysis being used to scaremonger about cost and push an agenda of inaction.

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