Public submissions

Access policy submissions to parliamentary committees, commissions, and other public bodies from IGPS researchers.

Dishonest accounting: comments on the Climate Change Commission draft report, 2021

Geoff Bertram

I have serious concerns with parts of the draft report, and welcome this opportunity to lay those out and suggest how they might be addressed in the final report. Those relate to (1) the Commission’s acceptance and use of the gross-net accounting methodology which systematically obscures the true record of New Zealand’s emissions performance and the actual lack of ambition in targets set to date; (2) the Commission’s failure to engage with the operational detail of the very dysfunctional electricity market which stands as a roadblock to climate progress whereas it ought to be a key facilitator; and (3) the Commission’s reluctance to engage with the nuts and bolts of the Emissions Trading Scheme; and its failure even to canvass alternative price-based policy frameworks such as carbon taxes.

Reducing emissions by reducing waste: a submission on the Climate Change Commission draft report, 2021

Hannah Blumhardt, Liam Prince, Sue Coutts

This is a joint submission on behalf of the zero waste community. We can make a just transition from a throwaway culture to a zero waste, zero carbon circular economy by transforming our relationship with waste. The good news is that when we reduce waste, we reduce emissions. The evidence shows that we can dramatically reduce our emissions by using resources more efficiently. We already have the tools we need to get started. By implementing common zero waste strategies we can bring the circular economy to life and adapt to climate change at the same time. The waste hierarchy, which prioritises prevention, reduction and reuse, can be used as a ‘climate lens’ to help guide decisions and investment. Social procurement will put the money in the right hands. The Commission’s general waste advice takes us in the right direction but the recommendations need to be more specific, holistic, and ambitious to harness the power that using resources more efficiently has to end our contribution to climate change.

Electric cars don't solve transport: a submission on the Climate Change Commission draft report, 2021

Hannah Blumhardt

Through The Rubbish Trip, we travelled New Zealand full-time for 3 years giving talks across the country, from Kaitaia to Rakiura/Stewart Island. We were committed to travelling as low-emissions as possible, which meant without flying. For over a year we did this without a private car. The experience has taught us much about the inadequacy of New Zealand’s public transport system, and the lack of convenient and accessible land-based intra-regional transport to compete with flying. Many times public transport was so lacking, inconvenient or expensive, that it was simply easier and cheaper for us to hitch-hike. We were pleased to see that the Commission has recommended an upgrade of New Zealand’s national public transport network and the promotion of active forms of transport. However, we believe that this should be a time-critical action with progress indicators (not just a lower-order necessary action). While we agree that the light vehicle fleet must be electrified, we do not believe that this is more important than upgrading the New Zealand public transport network and making it easier to walk and cycle. We would like to see the latter become a time-critical action and be given progress indicators.

Misapplied metrics: a submission on the Climate Change Commission draft report, 2021

Adrian Macey, Myles Allen, Michelle Cain, Dave Frame

The advice and evidence reports from the Climate Change Commission contain a number of errors and misjudgements on metrics, especially recently developed “warming-equivalent” metrics such as Global Warming Potential (GPW), Combined Global Temperature-change Potential (CGTP) and CO2-forcing-equivalent emissions.

Emissions, warming and metrics: a submission on the Climate Change Commission draft report, 2021

Adrian Macey

This submission covers two linked areas where the draft report is deficient and recommends how the final report could remedy the shortcomings. The treatment of metrics is sketchy and does not recognise the importance of the problem affecting short-lived gases like methane, highly relevant to NZ and many developing countries – the misalignment of the commonly-used metric (GWP100) and the warming effect. Notably, it fails to recognize the utility of an alternative metric (GWP*) which overcomes the problem. The draft report mistakenly asserts that the Paris Agreement (PA) is about emissions, not warming, missing the point that the only reason the world is concerned about emissions is...… warming. It appears unaware that the PA decisions on reporting of inventories and NDCs do not settle metrics for the foreseeable future. On the contrary the issue remains alive and unresolved. • Or that the decisions don’t prevent NZ from making use of a different metric for domestic policy purposes or using it as a supplementary reporting tool. It misunderstands GWP*, evidenced by a string of erroneous assertions, which thereby render the conclusions based on them unreliable.