An extraordinary sum we’re paying

Today, the NZ Herald published a letter from one Hylton Le Grice, of Remuera, revealing a financial arrangement with the United Nations I was not aware of and that I’m fairly sure I would have remembered our government consulting us over.

In case this facsimile arrives illegible, here’s what it says:

New Zealand produces just 0.17 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. China, the worst polluter with an appalling 28.5 per cent emissions is however presently building no less than 583 coal-fired power stations, with another five countries creating 529 similar units. Despite these extraordinary figures, New Zealand has unbelievably committed for 10 years to pay an astonishing annual $1.4 billion in taxpayers’ money to the UN Climate Accord Fund, which China does not have to subscribe to until 2030. Some of this UN money is then distributed to the same six so-called undeveloped countries that are building these 1012 coal-powered stations. With the huge economic problems that New Zealand now faces because of Covid-19, this annual payment seems to be totally unacceptable.

Is it true?

Readers may know of this; if you do, please drop us a note below.

What the correspondent calls the UN Climate Accord Fund is in fact the Green Climate Fund.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade records that we made a payment to the GCF in 2015 of $3 million, then, in October 2019, We paid $15 million to the Green Climate Fund’s “first replenishment”. Anyone know what that was?


The GCF is a US$10 billion fund used to finance efforts to cut green-house gas emissions and support climate change adaptation in developing countries. The GCF is based in Songdo, South Korea, and governed by a 24-member Board comprising developed and developing country members.

New Zealand has committed to providing $300m to the GCF over the next four years. Watch this space.


9 Thoughts on “An extraordinary sum we’re paying

  1. A fair comparison has to be at a per capita level. China and NZ are now about the same but NZ has been polluting for longer.
    On the plus side, China is involved in massive afforestation projects.
    China has committed to be net carbon neutral by 2060, NZ by 2050.
    NZ contribution to the Green Climate Fund is only 57 cents per capita. I would argue that it should be much more.

    • Richard Treadgold on October 30, 2020 at 10:51 am said:

      A fair comparison does not ‘have to be’ per capita. Mr Le Grice makes the excellent comparison of total magnitude. All our efforts to mitigate global warming will be futile simply because of China’s monstrous and burgeoning emissions of CO2 — never mind all the rest of humanity’s. Do you agree?

    • “A fair comparison has to be at a per capita level. China and NZ are now about the same but NZ has been polluting for longer.”

      Speaking of fair comparisons, would you care to explain why you are insinuating that carbon dioxide is a kind of environmental pollution, Simon?

      As far as my research has led me to discover, it is completely non-toxic to practically all life-forms on the planet and it is also the vital plant-food which sustains the entire biosphere in one way and another. It is so harmless to humans, in fact, that our species has not evolved any senses with which to detect it and alert us to its presence: we cannot see it, smell it, hear it, feel it or taste it (at normal concentrations below about 5,000 ppmv). Mosquitos can smell it though: it is the essential scent of the animal body that attracts them to their prey.

      Is it fair, then, to put CO2 in the same class of noxious substances as, say, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and chlorine, which definitely are toxic and for which nature has equipped us with powerful senses so that we will certainly detect them, by their pungent smells and stinging effects on the skin, whenever they are present even in extremely low concentrations of parts per trillion?

      Is that fair, Simon? You can’t rationally pretend that it is.

      And as for the argument that human CO2 emissions are causing ‘heat pollution’ of the planet, we are still waiting to see the scientific evidence which you have said supports this apparently baseless and idiosyncratic idea.

      You seem to think that mere knowledge of the principle of the greenhouse effect is sufficient to provide the compelling argument that proves your claim. It is not sufficient and your claim remains not just unproven, but completely unsupported by any real evidence that stands up to honest scrutiny.

    • Dear Simon

      China, and most especially President Xi, ‘commits’ to an awful lot of things, but the reality is often a somewhat twisted, dystopian and nightmarish version of what was promised. Perhaps you would care to spend some lovely ‘downtime’ in one of his dreamy ‘re-education’ centers learning a brand new trade? You may have heard of them; the ones comrade Jacinda keeps forgetting to talk to him about? In any case, the years 2050, or 2060 are simply too far into the future to have any meaning to anyone in power today.

  2. Simon,

    “……but NZ has been polluting for longer.”

    I want you to say after me, Simon. Carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant.
    I want 100 lines from you….
    CO2 is NOT pollution
    CO2 is NOT pollution
    And I want it on my desk, first thing tomorrow morning.

  3. Nick Nicholas on October 31, 2020 at 3:25 pm said:

    Very good item from Hylton, a frequently published Herald letters writer.
    It exposes the farce of the current Paris Agreement situation whereby China is classed
    as ‘underdeveloped’, therefore not having to contribute its dues for decades. I am
    surprised, from my experiences, that the Herald agreed to print it.

    However, the figure of $1.4B , sticks in my mind as the original annual
    cost of our ETS scheme back in 2010 or whenever. Can’t find any
    info on current annual cost to NZ of the ETS.

    God only knows what good all these schemes, calculations and costs
    have ever done to help our country or planet in the meantime.
    Neither He nor anyone else can show me.

  4. Hi Richard,
    search ” newshub paris areement targets 22/5/2017

    • Richard Treadgold on November 12, 2020 at 11:00 am said:

      Thanks, Ross. I think $1.4 billion per year equates to about $280 per person per year for at least the next ten years. On top of increased ETS contributions as the “carbon price” rises, more income tax to pay for the COVID-19 overspending and sundry other socialist improvements to come. If Saint Jacinda really loved us, she would surely ask us first.

  5. Richard – i thought i would share this link with you, a comment from the Minister in charge of climate change on got my attention! James Shaw makes the pleasing comment that he listens to scientists, which is reassuring, however he seems to only want to follow the advice of scientists who tell him what he wants to hear!! maybe we should feed him science papers that provides an alternative view of the world that is opposite to his – i wonder if he would follow their advice – i somehow doubt it but could be some fun!!

    ““I am absolutely committed that we will follow that advice,” said Shaw. “If there’s anything Covid taught us, it’s to follow the advice of the scientists. That’s why we pay them in the first place.”–which-james-shaw-is-dead-set-on-hitting

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