web analytics

NRT: Climate change: Action is affordable

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, April 15th, 2014 - 34 comments
Categories: climate change, science - Tags:

no-right-turn-256It looks like No Right Turn is back from his larping and looking at the third IPCC report of AR5. Thats worth commenting.

Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the second part of its Fifth Assessment report, showing the dire future we faced if we did not act to reduce emissions. Over the weekend, the IPCC released the third part of the report, showing that such action would be perfectly affordable:

Catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards according to a UN report, which concludes that the transformation required to a world of clean energy is eminently affordable.

“It doesn’t cost the world to save the planet,” said economist Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, who led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) team.

The cheapest and least risky route to dealing with global warming is to abandon all dirty fossil fuels in coming decades, the report found. Gas – including that from the global fracking boom – could be important during the transition, Edenhofer said, but only if it replaced coal burning.


Diverting hundred of billions of dollars from fossil fuels into renewable energy and cutting energy waste would shave just 0.06% off expected annual economic growth rates of 1.3%-3%, the IPCC report concluded.

(And that’s ignoring the benefits of cutting emissions, for example in reduced deaths from air pollution).

To put that in context: it would mean that the average cost of adapting to climate change next year (calculated by comparing per-capita GDP with a growth rate of 1.5 vs 1.44%) is less than $30. Remember that next time Bill English stands up in Parliament threatening economic Armageddon if we try and do anything about it.

Of course, the costs will not be equally distributed. They will be substantially higher if you are a shareholder in Genesis Energy (which runs on fossil fuels), or in English’s case, a dairy farmer. Which makes it clear what arguments against emissions reduction have always been about: protecting dirty established industries. But the price of protecting those industries and the wealth of those who have invested in them is to dump enormous costs on our children. Bill English, John Key, and numerous other government Ministers have kids; I really wonder how they can look them in the eye over this.

34 comments on “NRT: Climate change: Action is affordable ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Of course it’s affordable. Not doing it is the action that’s unaffordable.

  2. Philj 2

    They look their kids in the eye, just as they do to you and me.

  3. Tracey 3

    grossers attitude of not doing anything until everyone else does is ridiculous and childlike. is this the surface of national being scratched and is it what they teach their own children?

    is this the personal responsibility national and act have been banging on about for decades?

    • NZ Groover 3.1

      Ahhhhh, Tracey, Tracey Tracey. Why don’t you lead the way. Turn off your electricity, sell your car, get rid of your mobile for the sake of the planet. Waiting until everyone else does would just be ridiculous and childlike. For the sake of your children Tracey, set the right example.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        You are aware the flip side of that is that everyone who drives an inefficient car, or who drives more than ‘x’ km, or who flies, or who has a domestic consumption above ‘x’ kW, or who owns a motor launch, or who owns other gas guzzling toys, simply gets lynched, right?

        I mean, that would in all likelihood do the trick and save the lives of billions of people. 80% of energy related CO2 emissions come from 20% of the population afterall (both globally between nations and within nations). And, if Pareto’s Principle is run 3 or 4 times, we get (very, very roughly) 1% of the population being responsible for about 50% of energy related emissions.

        So what’s between 1% and (say) 3% of seven billion? Who are they, where do they live and what do they do? And are you one of them?

  4. Bill 4

    Catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards according to a UN report…

    See right there in the opening sentence? That looks like a big fat lie. The only way it can be anything but a lie is if there is a particular meaning being attached to the word ‘catastrophic’ as used in the scientific community to demarcate between, for example, very dangerous climate change, devastating climate change, and catastrophic climate change.

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, 2 degrees C was punted as an amount of warming that would likely be kinda sorta safe. With the scientific data that was available, it was reckoned that the odds of particular events unfolding (species extinction etc) was such that 2 degrees was ‘okay’. There’d be consequences (not too many given the favourable odds), and the effects of 2 degrees could be mitigated for.

    Then more scientific data came in and the likely consequences of 2 degrees warming were seen to happen at 1 degree…in other words, 2 degrees didn’t involve favourable odds after all and was not at all safe. And we’re already at 0.8 degrees and probably heading north of 2 degrees.

    So I ask, what exactly does the IPCC mean when it uses the term ‘catastrophic’? ‘Catastrophic’ could well be ‘off the scale’ in their lexicon. Y’know, they could be saying we can avoid 6 degrees or runaway global warming when they use that term. Big wow. We’re poked at much, much lower levels of warming.

    Go to page 17 of this pdf for the 1 degree and 2 degree stuff http://kevinanderson.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/MCC-Climate-Change-presentation-Jan-2013-Anderson.pdf

    • Naki Man 4.1

      ” Gas – including that from the global fracking boom – could be important during the transition, Edenhofer said, but only if it replaced coal burning.”

      Great to see they think the global fracking boom can help to slow global warming in the transition period. Not very good news for Gareth UFO Hughes and the rest of the Green Taliban.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        If it replaces coal, meanwhile, the party you shill for issues coal mining permits.

      • Bill 4.1.2

        Just love those could’s and if’s.

        Replacing a high source of CO2 with a lower source of CO2 is still….CO2. Here’s a question. Can you point me to an independent source for the amount of CO2 and other AGW gasses produced by the fracking process itself? Can you show an instance where the use of shale gas has actually led to an overall decrease in emissions as opposed to allowing coal to be exported elsewhere?

        Also – what is this ‘slowing’ of global warming you mention? I take it you mean a decrease in the rate of accelerating emissions, which is still….global warming. Which goes back to my point about slightly lower sources of CO2 still being a problem. We have to reverse the emission trend, not slow it down.

      • Paul 4.1.3

        Green Taliban

      • Bill 4.1.4

        I think this may only be referring to the UK shale gas industry, but I believe the argument applies to NZ too.

        the shale gas industry acknowledges that it will not produce significant quantities of shale gas before around 2025, by which time our international commitments on climate change would not permit it to be combusted in any significant quantities


    • weka 4.2

      Yeah, I’m kind of curious about this ‘we can avoid catastrophe line’. On the one hand, I agree it’s a lie. On the other hand, maybe the general population is in the right place to start making changes if they are presented with something they can cope with at this time. Whereas if they were told we’re all going to die in a screaming mess unless we give up our laptops and flat screen teevees and live in a mud hut, they’d just change the channel.

      • Bill 4.2.1

        I’m going to reasonably go with ‘catastrophic’ meaning 6 degrees and runaway change/tipping points. And I’m also going to cynically suggest that it’s being assumed the common understanding of catastrophic in regards to AGW will leave people thinking about 2 degrees.

        As for the general population making changes, I’d point to the fact that (roughly) 80% of energy related emissions are down to the behaviours and actions of (roughly) 20% of the population. (And between 40 and 60% of energy related emissions down to the activities of between 1 and 3% of people) There are millions…in fact billions… of people who aren’t really contributing to AGW in terms of energy use.

        Last thing policy makers and politicians want is people to be tuned into that particular channel (to steal your metaphor). That could lead to class war on steroids.

        And just on that 20/80 point; it’s energy use that is the big one. Yes, there are changes needed in land use and agriculture, but energy is the main human contributory factor when looking to the cumulative CO2 total in the atmosphere and oceans, and it’s the one we can most definitely do something about, and it’s also the one that, were something to be done, poses the most immediate and obvious threat to social elites and their privileges. Their productive economy (and therefor all their privilege and status) relies on the burning of fossil fuels.

  5. captain hook 5

    pinheads like nakki man dont really understand that in twenty years the whole petrol era will be over and all those hardly davisons and plastic replica hot rods will just be pieces of junk. like their owners.

    • srylands 5.1

      You are totally wrong. The marginal cost of reducing emissions in NZ is high. We already have high renewables.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Working to the margins gets you dead.

      • srylands 5.1.2

        This modelling is a good indicator of the huge price signals required to achieve meaningful emissions reductions in NZ. It is probably the highest in the world. The cost to the poor would be catastrophic.

        So look at these cost curves and explain how we can reduce emissions in NZ at a small cost? If we could, the last Labour Government would have done so.


        • Bill

          You any idea how fucking ridiculous it is to throw up financial costs as an excuse for inadequate action? How’s that go srylands? “We simply couldn’t afford to not do the shit that led to us being absolutely fucked and in a position where all the money in the world was worth precisely zero.”!?

          • srylands

            Stop being an idiot. Thats why we have international emissions trading. It makes no sense to reduce the most expensive emissions first.

            I don’t get how the Greens whinge about power prices and want to destroy markets to save folks $200 per year. Then they say “don’t worry about costs” when it comes to mitigation. That approach will fuck the poor.

            Climate change is an urgent priority. It requires rational policy responses using price based mechanisms that a broad coalition of countries buy into.

            I suggest you read some of the excellent reports published on price based mitigation and then come back when you are better informed. You are simply crying slogans. That’s why you get called the Green Taliban.

            • Paul

              You say slogans….
              Then you say Green Taliban.
              What a joke!

            • Bill

              There is absolutely no market solution to AGW. Heavy – very heavy regulation (y’know command economy stuff) might work. But even that’s debatable.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Money is nothing. There’s only two Questions that matter: Do we have the resources to do it? and do we have to do it?

              the answer to both is YES!

    • srylands 5.2

      That is debatable. The Australian government is about to commit to a $12 billion new Sydney airport to open in 2025. For all those petroleum fueled planes in 2034.

      • McFlock 5.2.1

        and if it’s like Ciudad Real Central Airport, it won’t be their problem…

      • Naki Man 5.2.2

        Good point srylands

        • Draco T Bastard

          SSLands never makes a good point – he just regurgitates the religious point of view that he’s swallowed.

          Oh, wait, so do you.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.3

        The Australian government is about to commit to a $12 billion new Sydney airport to open in 2025. For all those petroleum fueled planes in 2034.

        Kerosene fuelled planes will still be flying in 2034, yes. Predominantly military ones, and those used most often by the 1%.

    • Naki Man 5.3

      I will be more than happy to drive an electric car when the price comes down and they use power from an external source

    • Naki Man 5.4

      If wussel had it his way we would all be riding a wooden bicycles on mud roads and we would all be broke.

      • Colonial Viper 5.4.1

        If John Key had his way, he would turn the land, rivers, infrastructure and people of NZ into monetizable commodities for sale for corporate profit.

      • Paul 5.4.2

        That was a mature comment Naki.
        You really strengthen your arguments when you resort to insults and fabrication.

  6. captain hook 6

    none of you lardos will address the reel issue which is incipient total environmental degradation, collapse and a major reversal of human activity.
    the decision will be a natural response exponentialised, adventitous and beyond mans ability to control.
    fuck I’m gonna be dead and miss all the fun!

  7. Jenny 7

    Which makes it clear what arguments against emissions reduction have always been about: protecting dirty established industries.

    But they have contracts!

  8. aerobubble 8

    Bridge made a slip in parliament today by declaring that jobs would be lost if oil and gas exploitation di not took place on the west coast, and that aren’t the heritage mines such a great boon for tourism.
    Well does Bridge think tourists will be rushing to, lining up, to see old oil and gas well sites, does Bridge understand nothing of the low technology and danger involved by the pioneers of mining on the west coast, that so intrigues the tourists. Is Bridges for real, that the loss of pristine forest, its ecology, can take continual chucks carved off it, does he understand that without a broad base biology collapses. That Labour opening up to mining is actually another reason why we should stop!!!! Not an argument for more. Really does Bridges see no need to protect tourism into the future after the oil and gas companies have moved on, that will bring tourist jobs for decades, centuries to come??? That will prove more vaulable, sustainable, to the west coast, and that’s even before a pollution crisis. Why does National hate rural NZ, its aquifers, its landscapes, its biodiversity, its uniqueness, and in a world moving away from hydrocarbion they are rushing to exploit more.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    17 hours ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    1 week ago

  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to continue Solomon Islands support
    A New Zealand Defence Force and Police deployment to help restore peace and stability to Solomon Islands is being scaled down and extended. The initial deployment followed a request for support from Solomon Islands Government after riots and looting in capital Honiara late last month. They joined personnel from Australia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago