The Climate Change (Zero Carbon)Bill has been receiving submissions from the public over the last few weeks on how it should tackle carbon. My submission below tackles some of the concerns that I have articulated over the last year or so about addressing climate change.
I generally support the Climate Change (Zero Carbon Bill)on the understanding it is part of a substantially broader effort to address anthropogenic climate change. No one segment of the economy, government or society will be spared the effects in the worst case scenario. Therefore no part of these first three can ignore the probable impact on the environment that makes it possible for economy, society and government to exist.
Legislation, whilst useful, can be repealed or diluted. This is most likely to happen if it tries to achieve too much too soon. This Bill of Parliament in its final form will therefore need to be able to provide for encourage the use of common knowledge and science to help societal, economic and government sectors reduce their environmental footprint.
For example we know that aluminium is hugely energy intensive when being made in a smelter, but that recycled aluminium is not (1). Therefore a logical response should be to institute a recycling programme nation wide to cut down power generation.
We know that anthracite is the cleanest burning of the four coal types. Does it not therefore make sense to allow only anthracite to be burnt in coal burning utilities?
We know that in Denmark, regular waste is burnt to drive a turbine that supplies hot water to towns (2) – could such technology work here?
Other nations are experimenting with bio waste as a fuel source. Air New Zealand for example has been experimenting with biofuel as an alternative to the current aviation fuel (3). If we are to peacefully transition from fossil fuels to the future energy sources, we need to develop interim fuel sources. Local small scale variations such as using waste cooking oil/fat, which might be sustainable in large urban areas.
I have broken my recommendations down into categories of urgency.
Break priorities into four or five categories urgency – e.g. IMMEDIATE, SHORT TERM, MID TERM, LONG TERM
In IMMEDIATE term put things like establishing aluminium and steel recycling programmes; changing types of coal being burnt
In SHORT term put things like local government plan changes; N.E.S.A.Q. changes if necessary, as they will need to have public input; an A.A. working group to look at necessary fuel standards for biofuel
In MID term look at things like establishing biofuel programme as an alternative to petroleum; changes to building code to provide for hempcrete, which is carbon friendly as it does not create as much carbon based gas as concrete manufacture does.
In LONG term, the eventual ending of fossil fuels, per the Zero Carbon legislation and the April 2018 announcement about the end of such fuels by 2050
Keep the Parliamentary review and inquiries and other legislative mechanisms to a minimum. Much of this is based on known technology and science developed and put into practice overseas. Legislation should be for filling in gaps where business, communities and planning practitioners cannot achieve goals on their own or within their collective means.