Have your say on NZ’s Climate Change Target

climate-change-consultation-document cover

You have until tomorrow 5pm, 3 June, to tell the government what you want NZ to contribute to the global efforts in reducing  greenhouse gas emissions. This contribution will be tabled at the UN climate change conference in December, and be part of the international negotiations and agreements on emission reduction targets from 2020.

Climate Justice Taranaki suggests the following points for your submission:
1. The discussion document is biased – in favour of current government economic policies. The document ignores the known costs of not acting now on climate change and the substantial financial incentives given to the fossil fuel industry, while exaggerating the costs on household consumption under meagre reduction targets.
2. New Zealand (NZ) is fully capable of reaching at least a 40% reduction target by 2030, within its environmental, technological and socio-economic parameters. We ask for this to be NZ’s contribution – a commitment based on science and ethical grounds.
3. This target or contribution must be supported by concrete policies and actions.
4. One of the key policies must be to stop granting new petroleum exploration and mining permits, ban fracking, and start incentivising sustainable and renewable energy investments and initiatives.
5. The discussion document offers no vision and no alternatives to unsustainable agriculture. Its claim of NZ being “a highly efficient producer” is unfounded, failing to consider the environmental impacts and associated economic costs it is causing. The over-emphases on technological fix (e.g. anti-methane vaccines) and international carbon offsets are NOT solutions to the social and environmental impacts of unsustainable practices.
6. NZ urgently needs a concrete policy on sustainable agriculture and forestry (with financial incentives) that will achieve a clear emission reduction target, increase carbon sink, break the dependence on fossil fuels (including natural gas derived urea and nitrogen inhibitors), heal the soil, clean the waterways and benefit small family farmers.
7. NZ urgently needs a comprehensive policy on sustainable transport, consisting largely of electric public transport, sea, rail and road freight powered by responsible biofuels (eg. waste wood), with clear contribution to emission reduction and energy independence.
8. NZ urgently needs a complete rewrite of its Energy Strategy (2011-2021), ditching the reliance on infinite growth and fossil fuels, and committing NZ to 100% renewable electricity by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2050.

Write your own submission incorporating the above points and email to MFE at climate.contribution@mfe.govt.nz with your full name and contact details. Alternatively use the form prepared by Greenpeace, Generation Zero or MFE.

The more of us voice our concerns and demand, the stronger we will be. Speak out for climate justice, for the sake of our future generations and others that share our planet!

Download CJT’s submission with a full list of references.

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4 Responses to Have your say on NZ’s Climate Change Target

  1. john says:

    New Zealand contributes what percentage of greenhouse gasses? 0.09 % the last time i looked. So nothing we do in New Zealand is going to make any difference to global warming. All its going to do is hit hard working kiwis in the pocket. If you want to make a difference take your message to china and stop trying to force your ideaoliogy on other kkiwis You say you speak for all New Zealanders. How many did you get at your heads in the sand and hands on the beach protest.massive turnout . Not. I rest my case.

    • Per capita, New Zealanders emit the third highest level of greenhouse gases in the world. In 2012, each person emitted 17.2 tonnes of CO2 – nearly twice that of a Chinese and more than 7 times that of an Indian person. So there are strong ethical grounds for NZ to cut its per capita emissions. In fact, this is what many participants argued for during the consultation MFE conducted about NZ’s climate change targets across country. Many voiced that with kiwi ingenuity and abundant renewable energy resources, NZ can be a leader on this front.

      The time of finger-pointing and waiting for others to act first, is long gone. If we choose to do nothing, we risk being left behind and increasingly vulnerable to volatile oil prices and energy insecurity.

      Numerous studies have clearly demonstrated that if we choose to do nothing, the economic losses and environmental damages will far outweigh the costs/investments required to cut our emissions. Notably, the NZ Treasury has estimated the cost of not cutting emissions to be $52 billion or $3,400 per household. One might ask why such a critical figure is not included in MFE’s discussion paper on climate change target?

      Moreover, there are opportunities to be had if we choose to act now, through sustainable, clean technologies and renewable energies. Per dollar, such investments create several times more jobs than the oil industry, not to mention the potential losses in businesses and jobs that rely on NZ’s perceived clean green reputation, if we allow dirty dairying and fossil fuel mining to continue. Why keep putting more cows on the paddock, with the full knowledge of environmental costs, debts on farmers and lowering milk prices, when we could be investing in high quality, niche markets such as organics instead?
      Please read our submission with references that you can look into. Perhaps follow Jeremy Leggett’s blog and have a read of Naomi Klein’s book “This changes everything” (available at Puke Ariki library).

  2. ron dennis says:

    (G. G. P). Greedy Government Politicians. (D.C.F.T.E). Don’t Care. For. The. Enviroment. (P.L.T.P). Politicians. Lining. Their. Pockets. Oil Giants run the Governments around the world by buying their policies. I think I will stop there, enough said.

  3. Trevor Mills says:

    Is so much drilling necessary? There seems to be an over-demanding push for both conventional drilling and fracking. Further, it seems the corporates are blatant in ignoring what the public has to say, with more concentration on pressuring their political muppets to grant drilling permits willy nilly.
    Come on folks, stand and make your voice heard.
    Ex ‘Naki
    Trevor Mills.

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