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MFAT stakeholders meeting


Say 24 m tons timber for more wooden houses, etc ... the S.S. Earth's Atmosphere : if the ship is sinking a leaky bucket is much more ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: MFAT stakeholders meeting

MFAT stakeholders meeting 16th August, 2007 The
threat of accelerating, abrupt or rapid climate
change implications for LULUCF
Peter Read Massey University Centre for Energy
based on IPS Seminar 3rd August, 2007 Policy
near the tipping point how carbon neutral
NewZealand can lead a carbon negative
world. Visit
ht tp//
20Read20Seminar203Aug2007.ppt Peter
Read Massey University Centre for Energy Research
UNFCCC Art 3.3
  • The Parties should take precautionary measures.
  • Where there are threats of serious or
    irreversible damage , lack of full scientific
    certainty should not be used as reason for
    postponing such measures which should be
    cost effective so as to ensure global benefits

Is there a threat ? Some controversial climate
science (But note that the IPCC 4th Assessment
Report the best scientific information ? is
sanitized in its references to climatic
instability visit http//
) http//w
ynamics/IPCC/contents.htm) And vide Hansen, J.,
M. Sato, P. Kharecha, G. Russell D.W. Lea and M.
Siddall, 2007. Climate change and trace gases,
Phil Trans Roy Soc (A), 365, 1925-54. Ruddiman,
W., 2003. The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era Began
Thousands of Years Ago, Climatic Change, 61,
261-293. Controversial ? They disagree with each
other ! that cant be good science, surely ??
Surface Melt on Greenland
Melt descending into a moulin, a vertical shaft
carrying water to ice sheet base
Quite a bit of basal lubrication here ! (PR)
Source Roger Braithwaite, University of
Conclusion Earths climate is very sensitive
to anthropogenic forcing Most critically,
researchers know relatively little about feedback
effects that might enhance or weaken the pace
and effects of climate change.. Key sticking
points include the inability of global climate
models to reproduce the amount of sea level
rise observed over the past couple of decades and
whether ice flows at the bases of glaciers is
accelerating or not. How volatile the Antarctic
and Greenland glaciers might become in a warmer
world is therefore pretty much guesswork Nature,
pp280-281, 8.Feb, 2007 So yes, the science is
uncertain OK We (posterity and NZ Inc.) need a
precautionary policy Noah built the Ark before
the rain started
Stock Management maybe enough but maybe need
albedo enhancement also Read P., Lermit J.,
2005. Bio-energy with carbon storage (BECS) A
sequential decision approach to the threat of
abrupt climate change, Energy. 30 2654-2671.
Read, P. and A. Parshotam, 2007. Holistic
Greenhouse Gas Management Strategy (with
Reviewers Comments and author rejoinders).
Institute of Policy Studies Working Paper 07/1,
VUW //
Read, P., 2008 Biosphere Management of Carbon
Stocks.Addressing the threat of abrupt climate
change in the next few decades. Forthcoming
Editorial Essay in Climatic Change
  • Biosphere Carbon Stock Management
  • extract more CO2 from the atmosphere
  • stock it somewhere safer
  • (e.g. grow a lot of trees)
  • As a precautionary strategy
  • A Do low cost enabling things first (be prepared)
  • B Do costly things later if need be (enabled by

Comparison of carbon removals (F) with emission
reductions (Z) in mitigating the level of CO2 (in
ppm) in the atmosphere  
A SRES-A2 Z SRES-A2 with a transition to zero
emissions technologies between 2011 and
2035 F SRES-A2 with a transition to land
improvement carbon removal technologies over the
same period, with land use change complete by
2035 and technological progress to 2060 So
carbon removals is far more powerful than
emissions reductions
Why a leading role for NZ ?
  • Because
  • NZ economy is more exposed to accelerating
    climate change impacts than any other Annex 1
    country and needs an effective post-2012 regime
  • NZ economy has comparative advantage in the land
    based activities that are central to BCSM, and
    consultancy expertise for relevant technology
  • And because BCSM serves multiple objectives in
    the Millennium Development Goals and Multilateral
    Environmental Agreements that New Zealand supports

Global implementation
  • NOT a thousand plantations worldwide each 1
    million Ha (3 in NZ) BUT
  • a million plantations worldwide each 1000 Ha
    (3000 in NZ) and many other types of BCSM
    project each serving local needs and providing
    sustainable rural development paths
  • Capacity building programme to train 100,000
    grassroots entrepreneurs with skills to engage
    commitment of farmers, communities, villages,
    etc., to initiate country-driven projects funded
    by energy consumers seeking sustainable best
    practice bio-fuel supplies
  • A framework of bi-lateral bio-energy partnerships
    in which South partners agree to objective
    sustainability criteria in exchange for
    investment, technology transfer and a shared
    hedge against peak oil, shared with North partner
    (e.g. NZ and selected Pacific Island partners).

Implementation in New Zealand Royal Soc says 3m
Ha low return land in NZ Plant 150,000 Ha p.a.
for 20 yrs from 2011 to establish a 20yr rotation
normal forest (better get busy propagating
seedlings next year ! ) Assume zero growth for 4
years and 10 tons C per Ha p.a. for 20 yrs
37 t CO2 captured per Ha p.a. from 4th year Then
37 x 150,000 1.5 Mt CO2 in 2015, ) 3 Mt
CO2 in 2016, ) 4.5 Mt CO2 in 2015 etc ) see
handout till 22.5 Mt CO2 in
2029 ) for details and 24 Mt CO2 in
2030 ) This gives 900Mt CO2 permanently
stocked in the normal plantation forest by
2030 NZ Business As Usual emissions 2010-2030
average 42Mt p.a. 2012-2030 20 yrs x 42 Mt
p.a. 840mt CO2 BINGO carbon neutral NZ !!
(by 2022) Carbon negative if all those other
emissions reductions policies work OK From 2033
there is an annual crop of 320 tons / Ha x
150,000 Ha 48m tons p.a. Say 24 m tons timber
for more wooden houses, etc And 24m.t. x
16GJ/ton 400PJ bioenergy raw material p.a. for
ever (around half NZ demand for primary

A problem
  • Forestry is the most powerful technique available
    for near term carbon removals
  • Yet the previous Minister has totally stuffed up
    Government dealings with the forestry sector
  • Carbon Removal Vouchers (see below) puts the job
    in the hands of firms at the point of policy
    obligation energy firms and other emitters
    (livestock farmers, Fontera, meat processing
  • Its an investment not a cost
  • And they can go overseas if NZ land is too
    valuable in food production
  • Resulting low domestic carbon price eases impacts
    on competitivity-at-risk sectors and low income
  • Avoids pork-barrel politics of grandfathering
    and/or stealth tax by auctioning

Another problem
  • Most carbon removals systems involve land use
    change with a large margin of error in
    determining how much C has been removed (OK, you
    can measure how much biochar goes into the soil,
    but what about claimed methane and nitrous oxide
    emissions reductions, and increased soil organic
    matter and increased crop yield..?
  • But an emissions cap generates a need for
    rigorous accounting
  • History of difficulty in negotiating land use
    change offsets in Kyoto (Art 3.3, forestation)
    leads to complex rules and high transactions
    costs. Hence only 2 LUC projects under the CDM,
    neither forestry.
  • A small but beautifully formed teaspoon is not
    much use for bailing CO2 out of the S.S. Earths
    Atmosphere if the ship is sinking a leaky
    bucket is much more use
  • So aim to drive policy-desirable BCSM projects on
    a large scale with minimal transactions costs
  • Initially through Bilateral Bio-energy
    Partnerships avoiding the need for COP agreement
    ensure the global trend to biofuels is managed
  • (Eventually, learning from experience, converging
    on a second and complementary Wellington?
    protocol hanging from Art 3.3).
  • Then the psychology is quite different instead
    of a punitive zero sum emissions cap game, such a
    project oriented approach releases
    entrepreneurial energy to get ahead with securing
    market share and competitive edge with the new
    policy oriented technologies

Policy for getting action in New Zealand Given
that the carbon price is already serving the
emissions reduction commitment, we need a second
tool to drive the BCSM programme Make use of the
policy tool that is wasted in the pork-barrel
politics of grandfathering versus auctioning of
the initial issue of emissions permits Give the
permits away up to the level of the cap on
condition that recipients surrender Carbon
Removals Vouchers certified independantly (e.g.
by Veritas) in a proportion to the permit issue
that increases over time. Equivalent to
Renewable Portfolio Standards used in the USA
(e.g. California, and proposed in Bills before
the Federal Congress). Also equivalent to
recycling auction revenues but keeps government
agencies out of the front line. Initially
grandfathered to incumbent firms but with an
increasing proportion for new entrants
Diplomacy for getting action overseas Draw
attention of Conference of Parties to the threat
of ACC and responsibilities under Art 3.3 . NZ
is doing this what are you doing? Seek
partners for Bilateral Bioenergy
Partnerships Network other industrialized
countries to initiate their own BBPs Work
through the G8 Global Bioenergy Partnership
towards consensus on sustainability criteria and
eventual convergence on a second Protocol,
complementary to Kyoto Negotiate emissions
reductions commitments that reflect carbon
removals activity without the nausea of detailed
accounting or demonstrating additionality (i.e.
sustainable best practice is sufficient).