Friday, 25 July 2014

Survey suggests that the NZ ETS is not meeting its objectives

Post by Judd Ormsby

Jessika Luth Richter and Lizzie Chambers’ recent article “Reflections and Outlook for the New Zealand ETS: must uncertain times mean uncertain measures?” provides an overview of the stated purposes of the ETS, descriptive analysis of trends in recent years, and new results from a survey the authors conducted.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

High-profile research suggests the ‘social cost of carbon’ is too low

By Luke Harrington with Catherine Leining

The ‘social cost of carbon’ (SCC) is the estimated cost of the damage caused by each additional tonne of carbon dioxide (or its equivalent) released into the atmosphere.  In practical terms, it tells us how much money we can save from avoided damages when we reduce each tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Fossil Fuel Divestment - Part 2: The role of New Zealand in the movement

By Luke Harrington

As discussed in my previous post ‘Fossil Fuel Divestment Part 1: Can it really make a difference’, the notion of divesting from fossil fuels has started to gain traction following a movement led by founder Bill McKibben – to date, some 63 US institutions (including Stanford University), as well as the cities of Seattle and San Francisco, have committed to divesting fossil fuel stocks.

The global divestment campaign has recently started to have an influence in New Zealand too. While our universities do not have large endowments like their US counterparts, other organisations, such as Westpac, have been targeted by activists for supporting fossil-fuel-related ventures. State-owned funds also have large investments in oil, gas and coal companies. While these entities have actively divested from the nuclear industry in the past, they seem unwilling to do the same for fossil fuels at present. Here, we look at how New Zealand organisations, both government and commercial, are influenced by the fossil fuel divestment debate, and how one New Zealand city is leading by example.