Submission to 2050 Emissions Target “Consultation”

Here is my submission to the 2050 Emissions Reduction Target Consultation, as invited by the Minister for Climate Change Issues, the Hon Dr Nick Smith, in his position paper Gazetting New Zealand’s 2050 Emissions Target, published last month. The central argument is a challenge to the Minister and his department to show us the evidence of a dangerous human influence on the global temperature. For without that, there is no need to “fight climate change” and they have no right to tax us. They have already raised the prices of petrol and electricity by their ETS scheme. This submission also available as a pdf (50KB).

Nick Smith

I operate a blog, the Climate Conversation Group, whose well-informed readers over the past four years have had thousands of conversations about climate, climate changes, their causes and likely effects. We oppose the Minister’s intention to gazette the country’s 2050 target reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These are our objections to the gazetting.

Noting that 39 years remain in which to achieve these so-called “reductions”, the gazetting strikes us as primarily a marketing exercise rather than a sincere attempt to influence the climate. The Government’s intention to achieve mere public relations purposes is confirmed when the Minister denies even the possibility of influencing the climate and in the same breath talks instead about our reputation.

New Zealand alone cannot have much impact on global climate change… As a trading nation, New Zealand depends on its international reputation and its strong clean and green image.

Who is to say whether the natural course of New Zealand’s emissions during the next 39 years will be upwards or downwards? It could be that the emission levels specified here will at some time in the future be achieved only by increasing our emissions. Who is to say what technological innovations will improve our ability to generate energy without GHG emissions? What if we embrace nuclear power generation? What if the climate cools? Continue Reading →