Public meeting on climate change

Green Party MP Kennedy Graham will speak at a public meeting in Whangarei on climate change, along with Waipu energy analyst Steve Goldthorpe and a climate scientist, Dr Mick Kelly, who lives at Whakapara.

The meeting is at the Old Library, Rust Avenue, at 7pm on Monday November 4.

The forum is entitled Climate Change: Politics meets Science and Engineering, and the three speakers will discuss the nature and scale of the global problem and the feasibility of solutions.

Ministry for the Environment projections show we are on the wrong track when it comes to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, Mr Graham says.

The recently released MoE Annual Report shows a substantial increase in New Zealand’s projected net emissions compared to projections last year. This year’s projections show New Zealand headed for net emissions of around 90 million tonnes CO2(eq) in 2040.

“We are headed in the wrong direction to meet the Government’s 2050 target. Instead of decreasing our emissions by 50 percent we are more likely to increase emissions by 50 percent,” he said.

“The change between this year’s projections and last year’s show an increase in the peak emissions from just over 80 million tonnes CO2(eq) to just under 100 million tonnes CO2(eq).

“This is a policy failure of monumental proportions. The next generation will hold us accountable – for a dangerous global climate and a national fiscal blowout.

“We have to turn this around. We must do our share and stop freeloading. We depend on the major emitters to reduce their emission; if we don’t do our share how can we expect them to act?

“New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme needs strengthening; we need a comprehensive suite of policy measures to reduce our emissions and to transition to a more sustainable economy. Instead, the National Government has weakened the Emissions Trading Scheme and dismantled measures to reduce emissions and is now promoting risky oil and gas exploration which will just make the problem worse,” said Dr Graham.

Steve Goldthorpe is a chemical engineer with a background in computer simulation of novel process technologies.  He spent many years in the UK researching CO2 emission mitigation concepts.  His work on CO2 abatement from power plants made a major contribution to the foundation of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas (IEAGHG) R&D Programme.  He has carried out full fuel cycle analyses and studies of novel concepts for the IEAGHG programme, which is on-going.  Steve was an expert witness on the technical and economic evaluation of CO2 removal and disposal at a New Zealand Government Inquiry into GHG issues in 1994.  In recent years, as an independent analyst, he has maintained a close involvement with GHG issues and has prepared GHG emission assessments for environmental impact statements in Australia.  As an energy systems analyst he has assessed novel GHG abatement technology proposals, audited GHG inventories and devised GHG abatement schemes.

Dr Mick Kelly is climate consultant with Tanelorn Associates, working on community-based science projects. He is also a visiting fellow with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. He retired from the Climatic Research Unit in 2007 and now lives in Whakapara, attempting to practice what he preaches. Mick was a member of the team that developed the global temperature record used in global warming detection studies and has published over 100 papers on the causes of climate change and climate vulnerability and adaptation.

Concerned that all sectors of society have access to scientific information, Mick has appeared frequently on radio and television and has authored various briefing documents on climate issues for non-governmental organizations.

For further information contact Whangarei Green Party convenor Moea Armstrong on 436 5187 | 027 3197234. Dr Graham will be available for interviews.