- Date published:
9:00 am, December 1st, 2015 - 13 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, International, Satire, social media lolz, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
The Youth Delegation at COP21 have secured a copy of the NZ COP21 negotiation guide. For an original copy have a look here. Following is the text:
IN BRIEF AND CONFIDENCE
New Zealand COP21 Negotiating Guide
Operation #PulltheWool When there’s no low hanging fruit, cut down the tree
New Zealand must get a deal in Paris that will allow us to continue with business as usual, and shift all responsibility to bigger and badder
Despite our greenhouse gas emissions increasing by 111% since 1990,1 New Zealand has somehow developed an international reputation for being clean and green. It was probably the Lord of the Rings.
Anyway, we’re close to having this game stitched up. Because you know what else is still going up?
That’s right, our emissions.
Note: our colleagues at the Ministry for the Environment expect our emissions to go up by a further 50% by 2030.2 Yet it’s extremely important that the world thinks New Zealand is doing its bit for climate change.
Our reputation is on the line, and we don’t want to lose any trading partners over this.
So here’s the plan: our commitments at the Paris conference should make us look heroic, or at least
not entirely hopeless, without, in fact, requiring us to do anything at all.
Luckily, the game has changed. Now that we’re allowed to decide on our own contributions (“Intended Nationally Determined Contributions”, as the kids are calling them), we just need to keep a
straight face to land an emissions reduction target that, incredibly, will let us continue increasing
Intrigued? Read on, and learn how.
FLEECING THE SYSTEM
Everything we want and how we’ll get it
Our negotiating strategy is based on 3 key goals.
If we’re not sheepish about it, we can achieve all of them while doing as little as possible. Here are the key goals and tactics for reaching them.
 PROTECTING THE EXPANSION OF OUR AGRICULTURAL SECTOR AND EXPORTS
This is our number one priority.
Some critics say that we’re doing this at the expense of our environment and NZ’s ‘clean, green’ image, but here’s how to deal with those pesky complainants in Paris and keep increasing agricultural emissions:
 PROMOTE BUSINESSES AND THE ECONOMY
Our economy is the best. People who accuse us of taking a laissez faire approach to climate are just jealous.
If everyone calms their farms and follows this advice then everyone will keep believing that whole “rock star” thing:
 MAINTAIN OUR POSITIVE IMAGE
Everyone loves New Zealand.
It’s vital that we keep it this way, but to do so while dragging our hoofs and increasing our emissions will require diverting attention and neglecting to mention key facts. Here’s how:
The right kind of grassroots
Imagine playing a game where you get to pick the terrain, write the rules, and referee the match. Sounds great, right?! Our idea to do just that 3 has been picked up and the world is running with it in Paris.
Instead of countries having to contribute based on historical responsibility for emissions and capacity to act, we are moving to a system where countries act on a voluntary basis and are not actually obligated to do anything.
This means we now get to choose how much responsibility we bear. We plan on getting an A+… for Agriculture, to be clear.
Note: When we put out our INDC for consultation we received a lot of public interest and feedback. Unfortunately, a lot of people and organisations weren’t put off by the bureaucratic process, and actually submitted in our incredibly short timeframe! Thanks to a couple of cheap shots about who submitted, we quietly ignored the weight of public opinion. In other words, we knocked it out of the park.
CLIMATE ACCOUNTING 101
“Taking care of business”
Now that we’ve rigged the target, all we have to do is make sure our accounting is on point.
To do this, we have a handy little trick up our sleeve. Instead of comparing our current total emissions against a comparable baseline, we do this: Gross-net accounting.
We prefer to call it ‘Groser’ accounting, because the outcomes get more and more… awesome. We get to use the gross baseline, that is our total emissions, and then judge our performance on net emissions (including offset measures that reduce emissions such as planting trees). This means that our books always look like we’re in the green, especially given how easy it is to fudge offset measures.
In fact, we can (and we are!) continuing to steadily increase our emissions based on this creative accounting.
But wait, there’s more. Under the previous Kyoto Protocol rules we were able to carry over our backlog 4 of emissions ‘credit’, generated from the sneaky ‘gross-net’ surplus. Annoyingly, this time around we face a small issue, as according to some silly technicality we shouldn’t legally be able to ‘carry over’ our built up ‘credit’ to a new agreement… all because we abandoned the second Kyoto Commitment Period.
We’re working on fixing this, as without locking in the offsetting mechanisms into the agreement we’re going to have a tough time explaining our ever-increasing emissions.
At this point we’re attempting to blasé our way through by just acting like we’ll be allowed.
LAND USE, LAND USE CHANGE, AND FORESTRY (LULUCF)
The forests will save us, but not in the way most people think. LULUCF is one of the offsetting mechanisms mentioned above that gives countries credit (literally) for all the good work they do in the land use/forestry area. The instrument was devised by technical experts so it’s far too
complex to capture here (helpful for keeping those ordinary folk at bay), but here are some points to bear in mind:
We want to make the new Paris agreement and its LULUCF provisions a chip off the old block. Let’s try to make the accounting rules give us the same level of (forest) cover the Kyoto provisions have, with no pruning back.
ACCESS TO INTERNATIONAL CARBON MARKETS
Emitting and Omitting Responsibility
It is a well-known fact that markets fix everything. Why not use the mother of all markets to fix the mother of all problems (that is… Mother Earth)?
There are a few different variations of emissions trading markets, and a number of different emissions ‘units’ that may be traded and applied as offsets. Some governments put a ‘cap’ in place, meaning that only a certain amount of emissions are able to be ‘accounted for’ per year; this alongside access to certain markets affects the supply and demand for credits. We’ve Labour-ed away, and decided to
go with relaxed rules: no cap is necessary for us; and it seems rude to not allow access to the notoriously dodgy international trading markets.
Some countries will be headed to Paris cap in hand, and looking altogether too uptight. We’ve got to avoid attempts to apply a uniformly strict approach to emissions trading. A loose market approach gives us access to enough cheap international credits to sometimes make polluting even more
KEY TAKE-AWAYS FOR PARIS
Ensure that for any deal we:
Simple! Once these pesky items are taken out of the agreement we’ll be free to keep ignoring this climate change nonsense again.
Now, let’s go make hay while the sun shines. We don’t have long.
2. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1312/S00041/new-zealand-carbon-emissions-projected- to-climb.htm
5. De-constructing LULUCF and its Perversities: How Annex I Parties Avoid Their Responsibilities in LULUCF (Rules Made by Loggers, For Loggers’)