New Zealand’s problem is that we’re different.
Primary production and industries based on it are our bigeest export earners; almost all our forestry is from exotic species; we have relatively little heavy industry and the bulk of our power is already from renewable sources.
The Kyoto Protocol wasn’t designed for countries like us.
The heavy reliance on primary production is much more common in developing countries. But around half our emissions come from animals and there is little, short of reducing stock numbers, we can do to reduce them immediately. Research is being undertaken to reduce emissions from livestock but practical, affordable solutions may be years away.
The rules requiring new trees to be replanted where old ones were felled was aimed at protecting rain forests and indigenous species. It seems no-one considered that a clause aimed at protecting indigenous trees shouldn’t apply to exotic timber species in a country where they grow as well as they do here.
Our private vehicle ownership is high by world standards but that reflects our relatively small, widespread population which means that public transport is neither practical nor affordable in many places.
New Zealand is a square peg and we were ill served by the negotiators who tried to fit us into the round ETS hole.
I have a lot of confidence in Tim Groser who will be working on our behalf at the Copenhagen summit.
But I thought the whole thing was a dog’s breakfast from the start and my concerns are even greater now that there are questions over manipulation of climate change data.
Over at Sciblogs Aimee Witcroft raises the possibility the leaked emails have been doctored and points to a Guardian story on the issue. It quotes Prof Bob Watson, the chief scientific advisor at Britain’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who said,
“Evidence for climate change is irrefutable. The world’s leading scientists overwhelmingly agree what we’re experiencing is not down to natural variation.”
Also at Sciblogs Gareth Renowden isn’t convinced by the leaked material.
I’ll say it a thousand times, climate change activism is about politics, not science.