Saturday, 26 April 2014

The trillion tonne challenge: Think cumulatively, act immediately on infrastructure

By Catherine Leining, Policy Fellow, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

In the international climate change negotiations, countries agreed to the global goal of limiting warming above pre-industrial levels to not more than 2 degrees C. According to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, to maintain a 66% chance of achieving that goal, cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions starting from the period 1861-1880 must remain below about 1 trillion tonnes of carbon (3.67 trillion tonnes of CO2). That drops to an even more restrictive budget when non-CO2 greenhouse gases are taken into account.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Z Energy Biodiesel Press Release

By Luke Harrington

A press release by Z Energy on 3rd April 2014 marks the next step in alternative fuel developments in New Zealand. CEO Mike Bennetts announced a plan to invest $21 million toward a biodiesel manufacturing plant in Auckland, with a particular focus on tallow as the organic derivative of choice. Previous large-scale biofuel generation schemes have been met with varying levels of success in New Zealand (particularly the foray by Solid Energy in 2007) - this is actually acknowledged by Bennetts in the statement. Though this latest proposed operation will only make a small dent in the goliath that is fossil fuel demands for domestic transport, it is a promising step in the right direction – Z should be applauded for taking a leadership role in such an area.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Can New Zealand become a green economy?

By Luke Harrington

On 21 March 2014, the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) released a panel report, ‘Facing the future: towards a green economy for NewZealand’, discussing the potential opportunities, as well as difficulties, involved with New Zealand moving towards a green economy. The United Nations Environment Program defines a green economy as ‘low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive’. Those all sound like attributes that we as a nation should want to embody, so how do we get there? And what are the hurdles that might make the path a bit tough?