Brian Fallow on NZ emissions targets

In the New Zealand Herald, Economics Editor Brain Fallow takes a look at the government’s struggle with emissions reduction.

An excerpt (read in full here):

Govt in bind over emissions target

Promising technology takes a blow, while primary policy intended to curb growth is in utter disarray.

A big decision the Government has to make this year is the greenhouse gas emissions target for the 2013 to 2020 period.

We are the only developed country not to have tabled an unconditional single number target as part of the international climate change negotiations.

Instead what lies on the table, getting rather yellow with age, is an offer to reduce emissions to somewhere between 10 and 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, subject to a string of conditions.

That would represent a cut of between 32 and 40 per cent from where national emissions will be in 2020 if it is business as usual, officials estimate.

The estimate is contained in a Cabinet paper from May last year obtained under the Official Information Act by the open government website FYI. It is plausible given what we know about the growth in emissions already since 1990.

Business as usual implies rising emissions.

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