James Rus­sell

El­e­ment ed­i­tor

Element - - Contents -

Last year marked 25 years since the sign­ing of the Mon­treal Pro­to­col, a global ac­cord to save the ozone layer. Just two years prior, the first pub­lished ev­i­dence of the ex­is­tence of an ozone hole came to light and, cru­cially, the causal link to chlo­ri­nated fluro­car­bons (CFCs). Two years to take de­ci­sive, co­or­di­nated, global ac­tion to save the planet? So, what’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween the ozone cri­sis and cli­mate change cri­sis? PR spin is a big fac­tor. With the ozone hole, peo­ple be­lieved the sci­ence and got on with a so­lu­tion. With cli­mate change, se­ri­ous money is be­ing spent on at­tempts to dis­credit the sci­en­tific con­sen­sus and pro­tect fos­sil fuel rev­enue. And, of course, there’s the in­vest­ment. An af­ford­able, ef­fec­tive alternative to CFCs was avail­able which did ex­actly what it said on the (aerosol) tin. Wean­ing our­selves off fos­sil fuel use is go­ing to be crip­plingly ex­pen­sive, right? Yet here’s a cu­ri­ous thing: many com­pa­nies are ac­tu­ally mak­ing more money through mak­ing a com­mit­ment to cut emis­sions. Our story on New Zealand’s car­bon op­por­tu­nity (pg16) pro­files Golden Bay Ce­ment, which re­cently cut its coal use by a third, sub­sti­tut­ing it for re­new­able wood fuel in its kilns, re­duc­ing CO2 emis­sions by 58,000 tonnes and sav­ing $3m a year in en­ergy costs. It’s one of an ever-ex­pand­ing group of for­ward-think­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions nail­ing their colours to the mast and reap­ing the re­wards.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.