Climate Change Panel a good first step

19 April 2018

Forest Owners says the just announced appointment of an Interim Climate Change Panel is a good first step towards setting up a Climate Change Commission.

The Forest Owners Association President Peter Weir says the Commission will need to have an equivalent role and powers to the New Zealand Reserve Bank.

"As recommended by the previous Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, the Commission should be a body independent of government whose job it will be to set carbon budgets, then to keep the government of the day on track to meeting the emissions reduction goals that New Zealand has taken on under the Paris Agreement.”

Peter Weir says it will be a critical feature of the final Climate Change Commission to have a strong leader supported by practical and imaginative people who understand what is possible in climate change mitigation and have the ability to communicate this to New Zealand’s elected representatives and to the public at large, in particular, refinement of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

"FOA is heartened by New Zealand First’s strident opposition to the importation of foreign credits into the New Zealand ETS. Forestry Minister Shane Jones is citing a potential liability for New Zealand of $36 billion by 2030 if we take this course.”

“The Coalition has a bold commitment to decarbonise the New Zealand economy by 2050 by using plantation forests to sequester atmospheric carbon, in conjunction with a pro-wood building policy to ensure that carbon is stored in long lived wood products."

A 2017 report commissioned by New Zealand’s cross-party coalition of MPs, Globe NZ, shows that New Zealand is well ‘off track’ to meeting the targets set in Paris in 2016. Globe NZ’s ‘Resourceful NZ’ scenario charts what the report believes is an achievable path to carbon neutrality by 2100, including an additional 1.5 million hectares of planation forests.”

"If New Zealand is to meet short and long-term climate change goals then more plantation forests will be the key driver of that achievement. They will underpin a transition from fossil fuel to transport fuels made from forest biomass,” Peter Weir says.

Peter Weir 027 454 7873