Building For Climate Change

Current scientific advice indicates the key design requirement for the safety of all humanity’s infrastructure and the wellbeing and sustainability of natural ecosystems and species is an 80% reduction of fossil fuel production within two decades.

To meet social & economic needs while phasing out this energy source, we will need to consider the consequential issues of a sustained decline in energy supply and material consumption in all sectors of the economy.

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Meeting The Net-Zero Challenge

The Government’s current proposal is to broadly accept the Climate Change Commission’s budgets from their 31 May 2021 final report, with minor changes related to forestry emissions. But based on the available information, the Commission’s emissions reduction targets for 2030 are far weaker than is required for New Zealand to do its part in meeting the key goal of the Paris Agreement to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees C.

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Submission on Measures for Transition to an Expanded and Highly Renewable Electricity System

We recommend to commence work on a vision of how New Zealand will look without fossil fuels and then to develop a pathway how to get there. This consultation document assumes a great manufacturing effort over the next decades of power lines, power pylons, windmills, PV panels, electric cars, rail tracks and other infrastructure. This will all be done predominantly by using fossil fuels with associated emissions. It will also be done on the backdrop of diminishing resources of raw materials including crude oil. In terms of energy we are also dealing with a reduction of the ratio of Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROI) while aiming to produce new infrastructure and trying to maintain or replace existing infrastructure all built with fossil fuels at a high EROI ratio.

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Submission to Draft Advice of Climate Change Commission on 2nd Emissions Reduction Plan

The advice document subscribes to the economic growth paradigm in assuring the economy “would continue to grow under the recommended emissions budgets”. On the other hand, it has been established, that economic growth brings with it emissions’ growth, because an absolute decoupling of the two has not been achieved yet. It is therefore timely to start a discussion of “degrowth” to make a real and required impact on gross emissions. Degrowth of the economy means a planned reduction of the material throughput through the economy and the associated emissions, while focusing on a just transition and wellbeing indicators. Worldwide there is an increasing amount of literature generated and some of our members are contributing to the domestic discussion.

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Submission to the Auckland Council on Transport

In ESR’s opinion, the Auckland Plan discussion document does not provide a clear or convincing description of the city’s transport options, and it does not adequately address the linkage between the nature and location of future land use development and the transport option selected.

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