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Presentation to the ‘future international climate
change action’ stakeholder meeting
on behalf of
Environmental Defence Society (EDS)
Roland Sapsford
Sustainability Solutions Consulting
The Planet and Us
FCCC goal:
"stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a
level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the
climate system."
requires a global atmospheric concentration
…………….translated into meaningful
national goals, with feedback and review
Concentration Targets #1
• New Zealand advocates internationally for
– a long-run atmospheric concentration target of 350400ppm of CO2 equivalent, together with a medium term
concentration target of 450ppm.
– a series of linked national targets covering the period 2010
to 2050 for reductions in gross emissions.
• New Zealand's near-term national emissions targets
are translated into realistic, non-binding sectoral
Concentration Targets #2
• Any meaningful concentration target is
likely to be overshot, which means
– Abrupt climate change is more likely.
– Removals will become a separate and additional
goal on top of emissions reduction.
which implies…..
Concentration Targets #3
• Negotiations needs to begin on 'rapid response framework' mechanisms and triggers (both adaptation and mitigation).
• Carbon capture and storage will be primarily about rapid biological
capture of atmospheric carbon, rather than new fossil fuel emissions.
• Emission "offsets" will disappear as a concept within 10-15 years.
• Land use and land use change and forestry needs to be treated as an
integrated package rather than separating out agriculture, forestry and
broader carbon accounting.
Our Future as NZ Inc #1
• New Zealand has most to gain from adopting a
national position that encourages innovation and
true least-cost abatement, domestically and
• Clear price signals, good information, and robust
• Focus on opportunities for New Zealand, rather than
shielding sectors and slowing adaptation to carbonconstraints.
Our Future as NZ Inc #2
• Ambitious and achievable responsibility target
• Sufficient flexibility to allow us to set a good
• Domestic investment decisions in agriculture and
transport need be consistent with the aim of leastcost reductions in emissions.
Our Future as NZ Inc #3
• Mitigation potential is substantial in
agriculture and transport, but incentives and
institutions need work
• Agriculture: 15-30% below present levels by 2020
• Transport: 15-40% below present levels by 2020
• Climate impacts on these sectors are also
likely to be significant
Some points for the mix….
• Work towards concentration target plus
sequence of national targets with revision
• Relax focus on flexibility re offsets, and
work for opportunities in removals instead
• Boundaries and sectoral deals need to make
sense from New Zealand Inc's perspective