By signing the Paris Agreement in 2016, New Zealand committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. They proposed to do this a number of ways. One of these was buying carbon credits.
The government has long argued that the cost of reducing emissions domestically would cost too much. But are we really considering paying others to do it for us? The cost of these credits will continue to rise, seeing more of NZ’s wealth disappear overseas.
Aren’t we better to invest in the technology and renewable energy sources we have here to solve the problem?. Water, wind and geothermal gas make up approximately 80% of our energy sources in NZ. Solar is still a small power source, in comparison, but we know that enough sun hits the earth in an hour to power the world for a year. Surely the answer is in the form of this abundant natural free resource we already have in New Zealand.
Solar does not emit carbon, it provides for warmer drier homes that cost less to heat. It distributes the energy generation and reduces the need for costly infrastructure upgrade. And, it’s not such a long shot to say it reduces health costs by creating healthier homes.
The impact of 18% household solar adoption
If we increased Solar adoption to just 18% of households, it would account for 8% of residential electricity consumption and would reduce our carbon emissions by 350,000 tonne of CO2 per year assisting the country achieve the emission reductions targets as stated in the 2016 Paris Agreement.
Source: Benefits of PV installation in New Zealand report by ITP Australia
The Government should be encouraging the uptake of Solar. $14.2 billion dollars would surely be better spent domestically, fixing the problem. Managing Director of iGenerate, Mark Unwin says “$1 Billion would cover the Solar install for over 100,000 homes. That’s less than the government proposes to spend in the first year on carbon credits. The purpose of the Paris Agreement was to limit climate change. Paying others to reduce their emissions is a short term fix for the climate and our own country”.
100% Pure NZ? We can do this by striving for 100% Renewable.