New Zealand can take major steps towards avoiding climate chaos by reducing energy demand and switching to clean, renewable energies – and that means banning coal-fired power stations.
New Zealand Energy Revolution Report
On the back of this morning's protest at the Huntly coal-fired
power station, Greenpeace was set to present Energy and Climate
Change Minister David Parker today with the first major report
outlining how New Zealand can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in
the energy sector to avoid catastrophic climate change without
damaging the economy.
However, Mr Parker has refused to accept the report from
Greenpeace. Climate campaigner Vanessa Atkinson said: "we are
disappointed that the Minister will not receive our report, our
submission on Government climate change proposals, which we believe
is extremely important to the debate. We trust he will read
The report, New Zealand Energy Revolution: How to prevent
- Calls for a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas pollution
on 1990 levels by 2020, and a 90 per cent reduction by 2050.
- Predicts that New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions will
double by 2050 if we continue the way we are going.
- Says that by taking urgent action now, we can stabilise
emissions from the energy sector (including electricity and
transport) by 2020, and cut them by 72 per cent by 2050.
- Recommends that the shortfall on the necessary emissions cuts
be made up by a combination of: more rapidly phasing out existing
fossil fuel stations, using more biofuels once their environmental
impact is better understood in New Zealand, adopting new
technologies as they emerge, or buying carbon credits on the
international market (1).
- Says New Zealand can and must achieve a 100 per cent renewable
electricity supply system by 2025, and calls for substantial
policies and incentives to switch to these technologies.
- Says that the Huntly coal-fired power station should switch to
gas now and be phased out by 2025, and that no new coal-fired power
stations should be built.
- Calls for an economy-wide cost on carbon (initially through a
carbon charge, and then through emissions trading) by 2008.
Delaying until 2012, as indicated by the Government, is too
- Calls for a shift away from air transport towards rail and
sea-based freight systems, and the development of widespread,
efficient public transport.
- Warns that New Zealand must urgently address the issue of
Vanessa Atkinson said that New Zealand was already paying the
price for delaying action on climate change.
"This is the 11th hour - our emissions have actually increased
since signing up to the Kyoto Agreement to reduce emissions," she
"We can still reduce our emissions enough to do our part to
prevent the most severe impacts of climate change - including
droughts, floods and millions of people being made homeless - but
only if we take decisive action now."
Vanessa Atkinson said that it was vital as many New Zealanders
as possible made submissions on the Government's draft energy and
climate policies, which are now being reviewed. Submissions close
on March 30, and can be
Download the report here
Notes: (1) The model assumes that infrastructure, such as fossil fuel power stations, are not retired before their used by date. The model does also not assume major energy technological breakthroughs such as nano solar technology or energy storage systems for more variable energy sources such as wind, which would expand their use.
Exp. contact date: 2007-03-26 00:00:00