What is the latest projection of New Zealand’s emissions balance for the first commitment period from 2008-12 under the Kyoto Protocol?
I am pleased to advise the House that the 2006 annual update of the projected emissions balance for the first commitment period is 41.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This is a decrease from the 64 million tones deficit calculated in December last year.
What expectation does the Minister have for the emissions projection and future?
The projection is based on many variables, and change in any one of them will affect the total. This volatility will reduce over time as we move from projections to measuring actual emissions during the first commitment period. That said, the climate change work programmes we announced earlier this month will deliver durable long-term policies, which I expect to improve New Zealand’s emissions profile.
What confidence can New Zealand have in the new calculations, considering the Government’s earlier claims that we as a country would be banking a cheque for half a billion dollars with the ratification of Kyoto?
As I already acknowledged, there is some volatility in these figures because they rely upon a number of variables, but, as I also made clear, that volatility will reduce as we get closer to the actual measurement of figures rather than projections.
Now that the liabilities are looking better, how much of the remaining liability does he think can be met by decreasing emissions and increasing sinks in New Zealand rather than buying credits from overseas?
Members may be aware that the work programmes that have been announced include a framework for assessment of the carbon emissions reductions expected as a consequence of the work programmes. So as those policy positions are finalised, the carbon effects of them will become clear.