In question time today National’s Scott Simpson got one over James Shaw on the methane targets in his ‘ some carbon to zero bill’ Scott asked Shaw about a new IPCC report that indicated a lower target of 12% reduction by 2050 was justified.
Shaw had unbelievably not even read the report but his answers indicate he is receptive to the Select Committee suggesting a change in the targets in the bill.
Time to pile pressure on NZ First as there is a real chance the Committee will recommend lower targets if NZ First gives its MPs on the Committee the ok to do that.
This was the exchange in parliament.
Question No. 8—Climate Change
Hon Scott Simpson: In what ways does he believe that a target for methane of 24 to 47 percent reduction meets the science?
Hon JAMES SHAW: Because it came from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is the world’s leading authority on the science of climate change.
Hon Scott Simpson: In that case, is he concerned that the range of 24 to 47 percent reduction for methane is heavily influenced by scenarios that assume global population will be lower in the future than it is today, something that is beyond the control of New Zealand farmers?
Hon JAMES SHAW: The IPCC ranges were actually based on dozens, and dozens of different scenarios, including scientific factors, technological factors, economic factors, and so on.
Hon Scott Simpson: Has the Minister seen the recent IPCC report, entitled Climate Change and Land, which separates out scenarios by background assumptions and shows, for a forecast where population doesn’t fall, agricultural methane is only forecast to decline 12 percent globally by 2050?
Hon JAMES SHAW: I’m aware of the report. I haven’t read it yet.
Hon Scott Simpson: Yes. Would the Minister agree with a report from the IPCC that a 12 percent reduction in agricultural methane is consistent with a 1.5 degree temperature limit in a scenario where global population is 9.2 billion by 2050?
Hon JAMES SHAW: Well, it’s hard for me to comment on an IPCC scenario. What I’m aware of—I mean, I’m happy to take a look at it, obviously, but I would like to say that that member is actually a member of the select committee that’s examining the bill, and if he has proposals, then he should take them to his select committee and put them to the select committee. I have to say that that report, of course, was tabled after we tabled the bill in the House. I would like to say that there was a range of conflicting advice from both Government agencies and scientists last year when we were drafting the bill. That’s how we ended up referring to the IPCC range originally. I am aware, and said when we launched the bill, that having a 20-point range is suboptimal, which is why we’ve written into the legislation that the new Climate Change Commission has to review the range and come up with something more definitive in time for the next emissions budgeting period. The whole idea is to kick that to the commission so that we can have something that says that it is grounded in the science, so that we can put all those disputes that the various scientists and agencies had last year to bed, and in the meantime, our agricultural sector has got the assurance of knowing that they can crack on with a 10 percent reduction by 2030.