Guest essay by Eric Worrall
When virtue signalling goes bad; Back in March, WUWT published an academic allegation that the New Zealand government is trying to cheat on their own carbon budget. Now the lawyers have moved in for the kill.
New Zealand lawyers sue climate change body over alleged failure to meet targets
Lawyers say commission’s emissions budgets are inconsistent with aim of limiting global warming to 1.5C
Eva Corlett in Wellington
Fri 2 Jul 2021 13.24 AEST
Hundreds of top New Zealand lawyers are suing the Climate Change Commission for what they say are substantial errors in its advice to the government over reducing carbon emissions.
The IPCC report looked at what the world needs to do to limit global warming to 1.5C. To achieve the goal, net Co2 emissions would have to be reduced by an average of 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero by 2050.
The commission has advised the minister for climate change, James Shaw, who is named as a second respondent in the proceedings, on New Zealand’s targets up until 2030, using the IPCC’s report.
To calculate those targets, Cooper said 45% should be subtracted from New Zealand’s net Co2 levels in 2010, which would equal 484 megatonnes of Co2 by 2030. That is a reduction from the country’s previous target of 596 megatonnes by 2030. Statistics NZ has also adopted this calculation.
The commission took a different approach and applied the 45% reduction to gross Co2 levels in 2010, reaching a 2030 goal of 568 megatonnes and resulting in a much higher amount of Co2 being released than if the lawyers’ calculations are applied.
In my opinion there is no chance either target calculation will be met, even the dodgy one. New Zealand is very cold in winter.
A few New Zealand towns like Rotorua, located inside the caldera of the Taupo supervolcano, people can reduce their winter energy bills by spending an afternoon digging a pit, laying a heat pipe along the upper edge of the lava reservoir bubbling away just beneath their houses. Or they can run a pipe out to one of the many places where the lava has already broken through to the surface. But most people in New Zealand need lots of fossil fuel goodness when the weather turns cold.