The car­bon op­pur­tu­nity

If you nor­mally turn the page at the first men­tion of the Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme in sheer con­fu­sion and frus­tra­tion, this guide is for you: it ex­plains how the sys­tem works, and how the most for­ward-think­ing New Zealand busi­nesses are al­ready mak­ing the

Element - - Business - By Andy Ken­wor­thy

Hu­man­ity has re­alised, al­beit be­lat­edly, that the emis­sion of green­house gases from things like in­dus­trial pro­cesses, farm­ing and trans­port is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly costly in terms of the floods, failed crops, mass mi­gra­tion and the eco­nomic and so­cial up­heaval that cli­mate change causes. One re­cent report by hu­man re­sources and fi­nan­cial ad­vice spe­cial­ists Mercer es­ti­mates the eco­nomic costs of cli­mate change as likely to fall be­tween two and four tril­lion US dol­lars by 2030.

On the other hand some com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, like grow­ing ad­di­tional slow-growth, long-stand­ing for­est and re­plac­ing highly emit­ting tech­nolo­gies with more ef­fi­cient al­ter­na­tives pro­duce real, mea­sur­able, per­ma­nent re­duc­tions in emis­sions. Th­ese re­duce the costs as­so­ci­ated with cli­mate change and are also bring­ing about a new wave of hu­man in­no­va­tion and com­merce. This is the ul­ti­mate aim of New Zealand’s Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme (ETS).

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