Monday, 16 May 2016

Banking ideas for climate solutions

by Catherine Leining, Ceridwyn Roberts, and Suzi Kerr of Motu Economic and Public Policy

"How might New Zealanders help to reduce climate change?"

People who are increasingly concerned about climate change want to know what practical steps they could take to be part of the solution. Motu has released a new information resource which could help: an Idea Bank of Pathway Milestones for New Zealand’s Low-Emission Future.

During the past two years, participants in Motu's Low-Emission Future Dialogue have explored possible pathways toward a successful low-emission economy for New Zealand.  Participants engaged in their personal capacity, not as organisational or sector representatives. Detailed ideas that emerged from the process are captured in this “idea bank” document, which is offered in the spirit of sparking discussion, not as recommendations. While acknowledging the vital role that forestry will play, the participants focused on the stationary energy, land transport and agriculture sectors. Additional outcomes from the process are presented in the synthesis report New Zealand’s Low-Emission Future: Transformational Pathways

Dialogue participants recognised that other experts were already conducting technical and economic assessment of New Zealand’s mitigation options, and sought to complement that effort by exploring what changes across society could help to turn such options into reality.

Participants worked back from a broad vision for a thriving zero-net-emission economy, translating it into a range of potential sectoral characteristics that would underpin that economy. Each of these sector characteristics requires the achievement of milestones that can be organised into four categories:
  • technology,
  • policy and regulation, 
  • business, and 
  • behaviour. 
In turn, each milestone will be supported by the actions of specific sector actors.

These ideas resulted from a series of creative brainstorming sessions by Dialogue participants with a range of interests and expertise. They have not been listed in chronological order or prioritised. Some may be interdependent and others mutually exclusive. While some may already be underway or show significant potential, others may not be technically, economically, or socially feasible or may be undesirable for other reasons. Some may only be remote possibilities. Individual Dialogue participants may not agree with many of these ideas.

Over time, we hope to further develop this idea bank and perhaps turn it into an online information tool.  We invite sector experts to work with us to:
  • assess these potential milestones, 
  • suggest which milestones could be deleted or added, and 
  • explore how these milestones could be achieved through practical actions by specific actors.
At all stages of the review process, Dialogue members encourage others to take up the most promising ideas and run with them.

This document is now available on the Motu website.

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