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Renewable and energy efficiency associations say 'Yes we can!'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The renewable and energy efficiency associations say that New Zealand can achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets agreed in Paris by domestic mitigation rather than the purchase of international units, and they are out to demonstrate how that can be done.

20 low carbon organisations are hosting the "Yes we can!" Symposium in Wellington at the end of May at which they will be showing what can be achieved. They will also outline a range of low cost policy actions which they recommend Government could take and how much greater the greenhouse gas mitigation would be if these policies were adopted.

The organisations are industry associations representing the renewable energy (electricity, heat and transport) and energy management sectors and their associates.

Brian Cox, spokesperson for the symposium says "there is a lot of low-hanging opportunities out there and with a "Yes we can!" attitude we can achieve what we need to."

"The Government’s main policy response to reducing emissions is the NZ ETS. However the Government acknowledges that the NZ ETS alone will not drive New Zealand towards a low emissions economy. In some sectors or cases, there may be barriers or market failures that also need to be addressed. This provides an opportunity to advise Government what those barriers or market failures are."

"Currently the Government is assuming that a major part of the climate change targets will have to be met by the purchase of international units. This is an opportunity for the sector to show that domestic mitigation can be much greater than is currently assumed meaning less reliance on the purchase of international emission reduction units."

"Government has welcomed this initiative to outline the opportunities and to suggest policies which would assist achievement of the targets. The Hon Simon Bridges Minister of Energy Resources and Associate Minister of Climate Change Issues will be speaking at the symposium as will Mike Underhill, Chief Executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority who are tasked with increasing New Zealand’s energy related mitigation opportunities."

"Buying carbon credits offshore will take money that would be better spent improving domestic mitigation. We should be taking advantage of low-cost opportunities to reduce our carbon emissions here in New Zealand as they will provide on-going mitigation into the future. With the purchase of international units we would have to go back in subsequent years and purchase more. Purchasing international credits makes no economic sense for the New Zealand economy.

"Each of the organisations presenting at this symposium are developing their own strategies and plans for addressing climate change mitigation. This is an opportunity for sharing these with attendees. The symposium is aimed at bringing these initiatives together and developing a Plan of Action which can eventually be agreed by business, central and local Government. It will also provide guidance to businesses on the viability of low carbon investment opportunities. Most importantly we want to move from discussion about climate change to action on mitigation."

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