- Date published:
3:09 pm, December 14th, 2015 - 34 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, john key, national, same old national, slippery - Tags: cop21, tim groser
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.
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.