With no agreement on the table for the Copenhagen conference the Kyoto agreement will finish in 2012 and nothing will replace it. This is great news for New Zealand and agriculture. This is because the chance of any binding international agreement in the future is remote and with no international constraints each individual country will take responsibility for managing its own emissions. One possibility is that countries will set targets and they will then have to demonstrate to other countries how they are meeting these.
There will be no direct penalty for non compliance. Countries may still buy credits to offset if they wish but the framework will not be as scary as it would have been had Stephen Tindall and keisha and Lucy and the other half wits who were dreaming of a world government had their way.
I signed the petition against signing at Copenhagen and good on the organisers and I think it is important that it is still presented to put on record that there is opposition to such self flogging as NZ did when they signed Kyoto. It was a National government that signed Kyoto, Labour only ratified it. The fact that a National Government was prepared to sign an agreement at Copenhagen should be cause for alarm for all.
Now without the constraints of Kyoto Dr Nick can not hide behind this agreement. He has to justify why he persists wanting to lead the world by putting enteric methane into our ETS. He does not have to include it. But if he does he has to justify all of these.
Why put enteric methane in when;
It has no impact on carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
It has no impact on methane levels either. Methane concentration in the atmosphere has not increased since the 1980’s. This is despite huge agricultural increases so go figure Nick.
Enteric methane is outside the definition of climate change because it does not alter the composition in the atmosphere. Steady state emissions of methane do not increase methane levels as confirmed by NIWA!
The carbon dioxide equivalent system that they use to quantify enteric methane is flawed as admitted by the IPCC itself. They are looking for a replacement of the GWP(global warming potential) system that quantifies the carbon dioxide equivalents because it does not work. Once Kyoto is finished methane can be dealt with by New Zealand on a gas by gas basis. We do not need to use carbon dioxide equivalents and why would we use something that does not work?
The time horizon used to value GWP’s is 100 years in the Kyoto agreement. We do not need to use it; they only chose it because it is a nice round number. The NZ Govt, if it insists on using GWP’s that don’t work, can make them work better by changing the time horizon. Dr Nick will have to do the impossible and justify his choice of a 100 year time horizon if that is what he does. He will not be able to hide behind Kyoto anymore and say we have to use 100 years because we don’t, we can use 500 or a 1000 or what ever we want.
The IPCC is now working on its next assessment report due in 2013. In it they are going to treat agricultural emissions separately to fossil fuel emissions. NZ politics is running way ahead of the science on this (if you can call it science). Dr Nick charging ahead of the pack, will be bringing agriculture into his ETS under legislation that quantifies enteric methane using a system that does not work and that treats agricultural emissions the same as fossil fuel emissions even though the IPCC will be treating them differently because they recognise that they have to be dealt with differently because they are different.
Those are some of the things the government will have to answer if they are ever called to account. The arguments are so strong to keep enteric methane out of an ETS it is mind boggling that the government has not been able to be convinced by an industry as large as agriculture.
Compare this to the bikers who really have no argument other than they don’t want to pay their share. 5000 of them take a day off, go to parliament and they get a result in their favour. I held a meeting to launch what I am doing and I got 5 people at it.
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