Government announces Interim Climate Change Committee

The Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, has announced the membership of the Interim Climate Change Committee, which will begin work on how New Zealand transitions to a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

Work must start now on how sectors like agriculture might enter into the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS), he said.

And planning must begin now for the transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity generation by 2035.

The Interim Climate Change Committee will undertake this work until the independent Climate Change Commission is established under the Zero Carbon Act in May next year.

The Interim Committee will consult with stakeholders and hand over its work and analysis to the commission, he said.

Mr Shaw said committee members have been chosen because of their expertise across key areas related to climate change: agriculture, agribusiness, climate change science and policy, resource economics and impacts, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, te reo me ona tikanga Māori and Māori interests, international competitiveness, and energy production and supply.

Dr David Prentice, the Interim Committee Chair, was most recently the managing director of infrastructure firm Opus International Consultants.

He led his company through the Global Financial Crisis and has a sound understanding of economics and international markets.

Lisa Tumahai, the Deputy Chair, has significant governance experience and is Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She is a person of significant mana and standing in the Māori community.

The other committee members are:

  • Dr Harry Clark, a New Zealand expert on agricultural greenhouse gas research;
  • Dr Keith Turner, former CEO of Meridian and professional director;
  • Dr Jan Wright, former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment;
  • Dr Suzi Kerr, an internationally renowned expert in the economics of climate change policy and emissions trading.

Source: Minister for Climate Change



Blogger gets heated about Groser’s remarks on farming, climate change and the ETS

Gareth Renowden, a writer, photographer and truffle grower based in the Waipara Valley, has challenged remarks by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser about agriculture and the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Renowden publishes the influential Hot Topic blog, covering climate change science and politics in New Zealand.

He has taken issue with remarks by Groser at the National Agricultural Fieldays earlier this month.

Groser claimed that including agriculture in the emissions trading scheme would be madness.

Any attempt to deliberately price carbon to reduce our agriculture output to make some ideological point would not only be an economic mistake of grave proportions, it would worsen the problem of global anthropogenic-induced greenhouse gas warming since the production gap would be filled by less carbon efficient producers than ours. Utter environmental and economic madness, in my view.

But at The Daily Blog today, Renowden argues that Groser is talking utter nonsense, and agriculture needs to be included in the Emissions Trading Scheme as soon as possible.

You can see what he is arguing here. He has called for comments at The Daily Blog.