Vivid climate change policies
‘‘Such a reduction in emissions is challenging, made more so when we consider that developing countries will expect to be able to achieve the same standard of living as we enjoy.’’
A reliance on yet-to-bedeveloped tech to solve our problems is a risky strategy.
The third scenario relies on even more extensive forestry plantings but avoids the technology trap.
To me, these scenarios miss two low hanging fruit that are actionable today, inexpensive and low-risk.
One is to convert industries using fossil fuels for process heat, to using biomass-based heat plant.
The country has significant woody biomass available to start that transition today and sufficient land available for us to meet future demand.
The other is around using biochar as a carbon sequestration technology.
The ease of applying this technology was demonstrated at last week’s Charcoal Fire event in Pukekohe.
Removing atmospheric carbon is a key solution offered in another vivid report last month.
A group of European scientists’ published ‘‘A roadmap for rapid decarbonization’’ in Science Magazine.
Their simple, albeit daunting, road map also calls for a cut to global CO2 emissions - by half for each of the next three decades.
Such a reduction in emissions is challenging, made more so when we consider that developing countries will expect to be able to achieve the same standard of living as we enjoy.
That requires increasing energy demand, not reducing it.
Which means that developed countries will have to shoulder all of the global emissions reduction target.
So yes, our parliamentarians do have to deliver a climate policy, but their task will not be easy.
John Allen is the director of Rural Connect - www.ruralconnect.org.nz
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