Climate Change

Commissioner damns lignite, PM signals support

Damning evidence against lignite mining presented by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment flies in the face of Prime Minister John Key’s support for such projects, Labour’s climate change spokesman Brendon Burns says

“While John Key is on record backing the idea of Solid Energy’s plan to dig up Southland lignite and produce diesel, the Commissioner, Dr Jan Wright, yesterday told a select committee that the SOE’s lignite plant would see New Zealand’s gap on reducing greenhouse gases grow by 20 per cent.

Smith takes credit for the weather

Any reduction in New Zealand’s emissions is welcome, but Climate Change Minister Nick Smith shouldn’t crow too loudly about the part the National Government has played in any ETS success, says Labour’s climate change spokesman Brendon Burns.

Mr Smith unveiled a Ministry for the Environment review of the first year of National’s ETS at a climate change and business conference in Wellington today.

National’s ETS will mean burning more coal; failure to reduce emissions: IEA

The International Energy Agency's (IEA) has issued a stinging criticism of the National-led Government's changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Charles Chauvel, Labour's Environment Spokesperson, says that in a study released on Monday, the Paris-based IEA concludes:

- Keeping a fixed carbon price at current levels (NZ$25/tonne) will fail to phase-out the use of carbon-intensive coal in electricity generation by 2021;

Smith must be honest on new renewable generation

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith should stop pretending his Emissions Trading Scheme is encouraging new renewable electricity generation, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesman Brendon Burns.

 Brendon Burns said Dr Smith claimed in Parliament today that National’s moderated Emissions Trading Scheme is responsible for the 800MW of new renewable generation consented in the last year.

 “Dr Smith knows it takes several years to plan and consent for new generational capacity. To pretend new generation can go from concept to generation in less than a year is nonsense.

National’s 2050 Pollution Reduction Target “Meaningless Window Dressing”

The Government’s announcement of regulations to set a greenhouse gas pollution reduction target by 2050 is meaningless window dressing, the Labour Party Environment spokesperson Charles Chauvel says.
 “Any government can safely set a 2050 target without worrying about whether it will be around to fulfil it”, Charles Chauvel said.

Labour urges ETS review panel to give scheme teeth

"National's Emissions Trading Scheme needs to be given a set of teeth by the review panel appointed by Nick Smith yesterday, says Labour's Climate Spokesperson Charles Chauvel.

"The Scheme should be scaled up to full obligation immediately. The so-called 50% obligation, where the Government subsidises the price of carbon, is unsustainable, distorts the carbon market, and blunts the price signal intended to be sent by an ETS", Charles Chauvel says.

Labour: Cancun Climate Deal “Looks like Six out of Ten”

Labour’s Environment Spokesperson, Charles Chauvel, says from COP16 in Cancun that a deal was reached a few hours ago.

 “Early Saturday morning local time, the talks reached a consensus deal, with only Bolivia objecting.  The Mexican chair of the conference ruled that “consensus” meant that the text could be approved over the objection of just one country,” Charles Chauvel said.

Labour welcomes Stern call to action

The Labour Party has welcomed leading climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern to New Zealand, and says that his call for a renewed commitment effort to combat human-induced climate change is timely.

Environment and Climate Change Issues Spokesperson Charles Chauvel said that he was looking forward to attending Lord Stern's Robb seminar at Auckland University today and that Labour Leader Phil Goff would also be holding a private meeting with Stern during his visit.

National has no plan for the Economy, Energy or the Environment

National has no plan to deal with economic, energy and environmental issues, says Labour's Environment Spokesperson, Charles Chauvel.

Mr Chauvel was commenting on remarks by Environment Minister Nick Smith at the 6th Australia-New Zealand Climate Change & Business in Sydney today.

"New Zealand's biggest eco-challenge is to keep an agriculture sector that contributes to wealth, while minimising the sector's adverse effects on the environment.

National needs a plan, not just a recession and rain, to beat emissions

The Government can claim no credit for today's official greenhouse gas emissions statistics, which show the first ever reduction in transport sector emissions and a decrease in electricity sector emissions due to less coal-fired generation, Labour's environment spokesperson Charles Chauvel says.


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