Monday, December 14, 2015

Climate change: Still doing nothing

Over the weekend, 200 countries agreed a new climate deal in Paris. Despite the rhetoric of "the end of the fossil fuel era" and "the worlds greatest diplomatic success", its just the usual bullshit of promises no-one intends to keep sweetened with money no-one intends to give. Tellingly, it doesn't include any binding emissions reduction targets, making the entire thing purest hot air. Its aspiration, not action - and its a bit fucking late for that.

As for our government, its clearly got the message. In the face of an empty agreement, it has no plans to change its policies:

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."


[Climate Change Minister Tim] Groser said no change in goverment policy was needed in the short term, but 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.

...which they intend to do by doing... nothing! In other words, we're going to respond to this "historic" agreement by just keeping on shitting in out atmosphere. Which is what happens when there are no binding targets.

But there's another, positive, consequence: no binding targets means no credible possibility of carbon trading. Which means that if the government wants to meet their 11% by 2030 target, they're actually going to have to reduce domestic emissions. Sadly, I expect that what will happen is that they'll simply refuse to meet it - or rather, refuse to enact policy and leave it as a problem for their successors, then denounce them when they try and do anything. Which of course is why we're in this mess in the first place.