Climate Change Committee announced, significant omissions

James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change, has announced the members of the Interim Climate Change Committee. The members have a wide range of relevant experience, but notably there is no farmer or oil and gas industry or transport representation.


The Minister for Climate Change today announced the membership of the Interim Climate Change Committee, which will begin work on how New Zealand transitions to a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

“We need work to start now on how things like agriculture might enter into the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS), and we need planning now for the transition to 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035,” says James Shaw.

“The Interim Climate Change Committee will begin this important work until we have set up the independent Climate Change Commission under the Zero Carbon Act in May next year.

“The Interim Committee will consult with stakeholders and hand over its work and analysis to the Climate Change Commission,” Mr Shaw said.

Committee members have been chosen because of their expertise across key areas related to climate change: agriculture, agribusiness, climate change science and policy, resource economics and impacts, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, te reo me ona tikanga Māori and Māori interests, international competitiveness, and energy production and supply.

Dr David Prentice, the Interim Committee Chair, was most recently the CEO and Managing Director of infrastructure firm Opus International Consultants.

He led his company through the Global Financial Crisis and has a sound understanding of economics and international markets.

He is joined by Deputy Chair, Lisa Tumahai, who has significant governance experience and is Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She is a person of significant mana and standing in the Māori community.

The committee members are:

  • Dr David Prentice, Interim Committee Chair
  • Lisa Tumahai, Deputy Chair
  • Dr Harry Clark, a New Zealand expert on agricultural greenhouse gas research
  • Dr Keith Turner, former CEO of Meridian and professional director
  • Dr Jan Wright, former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
  • Dr Suzi Kerr, an internationally renowned expert in the economics of climate change policy and emissions trading.

“If we want to help lead the world towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, we must create a moral mandate underpinned by decisive action at home to reduce our own emissions.

“Setting up the Interim Climate Change Committee is a great step in that direction,” says James Shaw.


Typical Green style gender balance with a significant Māori position. generally it seems a reasonable mix of experience – but notably, no farmer representative, and neither is there any representative from the oil and gas industry or from transport interests. I think these are major omissions.

73 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  April 19, 2018

    Brilliant! Finally, a chance for the public to be advised wisely. A farmer representative? Who do you suggest, Pete? One of the English brothers?

    • Callum

       /  April 19, 2018

      They really just need someone to point out to them that the carbon released from farming is generally from carbon absorbed by growing grass. A lot of people seem to think that cows create carbon.
      Yes there is a bigger impact from methane that needs to be taken account of any assessment of the impact of farming but effectively over the long term farming is carbon neutral.

      • robertguyton

         /  April 19, 2018

        Modern, industrial, intensive farming is not carbon neutral. It requires significant inputs of fossil fuel, in the form of diesel, urea. (from natural gas) etc. That “extra” carbon is not absorbed by pasture grasses. Much of it, along with the nitrous oxide created in cow-pasture soils, goes up into the atmosphere and contributes significantly to harmful climate change.

        • David

           /  April 19, 2018

          “Modern, industrial, intensive farming is not carbon neutral. It requires significant inputs of fossil fuel, in the form of diesel, urea. (from natural gas) etc.”

          To feed the world you need modern ‘industrial’ intensive farming. Why do you want to turn the oil off again?

          • robertguyton

             /  April 19, 2018

            Your claim is wrong, David, dangerously wrong. Why do I want to “turn the oil off again (?)” – because burning the stuff is destroying the place – that enough justification, d’ya reckon?

      • Griff

         /  April 19, 2018

        Dr Harry Clark MNZM, NZAGRC Director moved to New Zealand to study the impacts of climate change on pastoral agriculture after obtaining his PhD and working for MAFF in the United Kingdom. Prior to leading the establishment of the NZAGRC, Harry headed up AgResearch’s Climate, Land and Environment section and was the Principal Investigator of the PGgRc from 2007 until 2010.

        Of course you know far more than he does.
        Academics dont know nothing……..

        • David

           /  April 19, 2018

          “Academics dont know nothing…”

          Correct.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 19, 2018

            I agree – they don’t know NOTHING, they do know SOMETHING.

  2. alloytoo

     /  April 19, 2018

    How about some Engineers, you know people who actually build practicable solutions rather than taxes.

    • robertguyton

       /  April 19, 2018

      What “practicable solutions” to climate change have engineers built?

      • Gezza

         /  April 19, 2018

        Tidal & hydro power stations, windmill farms, solar array installations, energy efficient appliances and devices …

        • Conspiratoor

           /  April 19, 2018

          G, how have any or all of the above solved climate change?

          • Gezza

             /  April 19, 2018

            Anything that reduces demand on energy & thus energy requiring fossil fuel burning I would imagine helps – even if only to reduce future demand – while other measures like planting trees must be a help.

            Can’t remember where but read an article somewhere once where some chap was either working on or proposing the manufacture and large-scale deployment of some sort of artificial carbon-removing device. I think the informed commentary was that it would inadequate but hey, anything’s worth a try.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  April 19, 2018

              Yes G, anything has got to be better than nothing. At least this is the prevailing wisdom and let’s be honest produces a feel good factor in some folks. In reality though any influence on climate is negligible when compared to the bright thing in the sky and its solar flare cycles. Damn thing refuses to cooperate with our feeble attempts to stop the climate changing

              https://www.space.com/19280-solar-activity-earth-climate.html

            • Gezza

               /  April 19, 2018

              Yep. So some say.

            • Griff

               /  April 19, 2018

              From your link .

              Although the sun is the main source of heat for Earth, the researchers note that solar variability may have more of a regional effect than a global one. As such, solar variability is not the cause of the global warming seen in recent times.

              “While the sun is by far the dominant energy source powering our climate system, do not assume that it is causing much of recent climate changes. It’s pretty stable,” Kopp said. “Think of it as an 800-pound gorilla in climate — it has the weight to cause enormous changes, but luckily for us, it’s pretty placidly lazy. While solar changes have historically caused climate changes, the sun is mostly likely responsible for less than 15 percent of the global temperature increases we’ve seen over the last century, during which human-caused changes such as increased greenhouse gases caused the majority of warming.”

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  April 19, 2018

        How about you spend more than a nanosecond of thought before opening your mouth and answer your own question?

        • robertguyton

           /  April 19, 2018

          You can be so arrogant, Alan. I don’t believe those “practical solutions” offered by Gezza will solve climate change and so my question remains. I already know my answer to the question; I was interested to hear alloytoo’s.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  April 19, 2018

            If you are offended then stop making zero-witted comments. Obviously engineering is critical to all solutions involving transport, energy generation and usage including renewable sources. Think before you speak.

            • robertguyton

               /  April 19, 2018

              Relentlessly arrogant then, Alan. Your “obviously” reveals your lack of vision; there are solutions to those things that engineers aren’t needed for, necessarily. Energy generation, sure, but that’s not going to be a solution to climate issues. Powering down is the only option.

          • Gezza

             /  April 19, 2018

            Quite hurt by that, Robert. Underneath this ruff exterior I’m quite sensitive you know. 😥

            There isn’t going to be any one single solution to the problem of limiting, mitigating and reducing man-made CO2 emissions. Every means of alternative or more efficient energy generation or usage is going to add up & be beneficial.

            • robertguyton

               /  April 19, 2018

              I deeply regret my insensitivity, Gezza; I’d forgotten your soft heart. There isn’t going to be anything the engineering world can do to stop this out of control climate trouble. I’m hoping for a new way of looking at things before we swing into more “engineering solutions”.

          • David

             /  April 19, 2018

            “You can be so arrogant, Alan. I don’t believe those “practical solutions” offered by Gezza will solve climate change and so my question remains. ”

            Robert, you don’t want a solution to climate change. You simply view it as a way to get people to live poorer lives. If someone solved climate change tomorrow in a way that allowed people to carry on as we are, you would hate it.

            • robertguyton

               /  April 19, 2018

              David – there isn’t one; at least one that’s being considered by scientists or engineers. Your last claim is that of a fool.

            • David

               /  April 19, 2018

              “there isn’t one; at least one that’s being considered by scientists or engineers. ”

              Of course there are. There are people looking at all sorts of things from algae to sun shades in orbit. You just don’t want that kind of solution.

            • robertguyton

               /  April 19, 2018

              What “kind” of solution? Algae, maybe, depending on what you are trying to make from them; sun shades on orbit? Complete waste of time. I favour changes of a different sort. Woodlands – now there’s a technology that’ll help.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  April 19, 2018

              God you are stupid, Robert.

      • alloytoo

         /  April 19, 2018

        Nuclear power stations (plus whatever Gezza said) and all the lovely instruments that supply the raw data that climate change advocates insist on “Adjusting”

        How many climate change models have been made that actually match reality?

        • Griff

           /  April 19, 2018

          Is the nuclear power industry in its death throes? Even some nuclear enthusiasts believe so. With the exception of China, most nations are moving away from nuclear — existing power plants across the United States are being shut early; new reactor designs are falling foul of regulators, and public support remains in free fall. Now come the bankruptcies.

          In an astonishing hammer blow to a global industry in late March, Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse — the original developer of the workhorse of the global nuclear industry, the pressurized-water reactor (PWR), and for many decades the world’s largest provider of nuclear technology — filed for bankruptcy after hitting big problems with its latest reactor design, the AP1000.

          Largely as a result, its parent company, the Japanese nuclear engineering giant Toshiba, is also in dire financial straits and admits there is “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern.

          Meanwhile, France’s state-owned Électricité de France (EDF), Europe’s biggest builder and operator of nuclear power plants, is deep in debt thanks to its own technical missteps and could become a victim of the economic and energy policies of incoming President Emmanuel Macron.

          Those three companies account for more than half of all nuclear power generation worldwide. Their “looming insolvency … has set off a chain reaction of events that threatens the existence of nuclear power in the West,” says Michael Shellenberger, president of the pro-nuclear NGO, Environmental Progress.

          “The nuclear industry as we have known it is coming to an end,” says Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute, a California eco-modernist think tank that advocates for nuclear power.

          • alloytoo

             /  April 19, 2018

            That’s a damning commentary of the luddite environment movements (Including but not limited to Greenpeace) who have through there actions contributed more to carbon emissions, industrial deaths and pollution than any other single group.

            • Griff

               /  April 19, 2018

              alloytoo
              Nuclear is dead .
              It cost more than any other form of energy .
              There are still no acceptable solutions for the long term disposal of nuclear waste. The cost of decommissions is getting higher as is the backlog of projects were clean up has yet to start.

              Nuclear can not function with out the goverment picking up the insurance risk.

              In the USA the liability of the nuclear industry is limited by law to 12.5 billion in total.
              http://www.naic.org/cipr_topics/topic_nuclear_liability_insurance.htm
              The cost of Fukushima is estimated to be 188billion and still rising .
              https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tepco-fukushima-costs/japan-nearly-doubles-fukushima-disaster-related-cost-to-188-billion-idUSKBN13Y047

              Classic case of privatize the profits publicize the risk.

              This country has a justified reputation for earth quakes and tsunami risk.

              The New Zealand public would not allow a nuclear plant to even reach planing stage .

            • Gezza

               /  April 19, 2018

              That’s a damning commentary of the luddite environment movements (Including but not limited to Greenpeace) who have through there actions contributed more to carbon emissions, industrial deaths and pollution than any other single group.

              I wouldn’t mind see that one teased out a bit more, alloytoo? Doesn’t sound right to me?

          • David

             /  April 19, 2018

            “Is the nuclear power industry in its death throes?”

            Yes, it has been regulated to death.

        • robertguyton

           /  April 19, 2018

          Not nuclear; not by a country mile. Engineering solutions, at least those developed within the present mindset, won’t work; they are how we got into this dire position and don’t offer an escape portal.

          • Griff

             /  April 19, 2018

            That is why I am not a Green supporter.
            Engineering is the only solution.
            Or we accept 90% of the worlds population is going to die when we return to a hunter gather society.
            Without machinery this planet can not support more then a few hundred million humans at most.
            Engineering is the creative application of science, mathematical methods, and empirical evidence to the innovation, design, construction, operation and maintenance of structures, machines, materials, devices, systems, processes, and organizations.

            • robertguyton

               /  April 19, 2018

              Griff – most Green supporters support an engineering solution to climate change – I’m further out/deeper down than most I’ve met. A return to a hunter/gatherer society isn’t something being proposed by anyone other than critics of the Greens. I agree that engineering “systems, processes and organisations” is the way forward, but the hard-tech engineering that most people associate with the title, ain’t it.

            • David

               /  April 19, 2018

              “most Green supporters support an engineering solution to climate change ”

              Where does this show up in their policies?

            • robertguyton

               /  April 19, 2018

              Green supporters don’t have policies. David, think, man, think!

      • David

         /  April 19, 2018

        “What “practicable solutions” to climate change have engineers built?”

        How about all those hydroelectric dams that you hate so much?

        • robertguyton

           /  April 19, 2018

          David, you constantly assign beliefs to me – perhaps you could ask, rather than wrongly claim; it’d be the polite (and intelligent) thing to do.

        • David

           /  April 19, 2018

          “David, you constantly assign beliefs to me – perhaps you could ask, rather than wrongly claim; it’d be the polite (and intelligent) thing to do.”

          I don’t think so. It is simply too convenient to assign all the fuzziest Green beliefs to you and work from there.

          • robertguyton

             /  April 19, 2018

            Then that leaves us merely trading insults; as you wish.

            • David

               /  April 19, 2018

              Trading? How neo-liberal of you!

            • robertguyton

               /  April 19, 2018

              Indigenous peoples who traded kumara for pounamu were Neoliberals?
              Crumbs!

    • Griff

       /  April 19, 2018

      Keith Sharman Turner is a New Zealand businessman. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand.

      Turner’s early career was in the New Zealand electricity industry, in which he began in 1969.

      Managing director, DesignPower, a professional engineering consultancy to the electricity industry
      Chief Operating Officer, Electricity Corporation of New Zealand prior to its breakup in 1999
      Chief Executive, Meridian Energy, 1999 to 2008.[2]
      Deputy Chairman, Auckland International Airport, Director since 2004
      Director, Spark Infrastructure
      Chairman, Fisher & Paykel 2011

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  April 19, 2018

        Good comments, Griff.

        • Griff

           /  April 19, 2018

          Dr David Prentice, Interim Committee Chair
          In his early career, David worked as a consulting engineer in the UK before returning to Edinburgh University to undertake his PhD.

          On completion, he worked in several senior consulting engineering roles before emigrating to New Zealand in 1997 to join Opus as a Senior Structural Engineer. In 1999, David left Opus and gained significant project management experience in software development. In 2003, he returned to Opus and held a number of senior leadership roles before his appointment as Chief Executive and Managing Director in 2010.

          Two doctors of engineering.
          Both with considerable expertise on the issues facing our transition towards carbon free.

          Jan Wright is a former board chairman of Land Transport New Zealand.

          I don’t see why you would want the oil and gas industry included .
          They are the problem not part of the solution.

          • artcroft

             /  April 19, 2018

            Because Oil and Gas are part of modern life and will continue to be for some considerable time. Therefore its good to have some input from them on energy use and generation in NZ.

            • Griff

               /  April 19, 2018

              Regulatory capture is a form of government failure which occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating.[1] When regulatory capture occurs, the interests of firms or political groups are prioritized over the interests of the public, leading to a net loss for society. Government agencies suffering regulatory capture are called “captured agencies”.

            • David

               /  April 19, 2018

              “Regulatory capture is a form of government failure which occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged ”

              Err, this describes the climate change industry to a tee.

            • Griff

               /  April 19, 2018

              Averting the worst of cliamte change is in the public interest.
              The oil and gas industry are only interested in their profits.
              As we know from the fact that major oil producers have been aware of climate change for decades and have spent billions trying to stop any action to halt it.

              A Dutch journalist has uncovered a pile of Royal Dutch Shell documents going back as far as 1988 that showed the company understood the gravity of climate change, the company’s large contribution to it and how hard it would be to stop it.

              The oil giant commissioned a 1988 report titled The Greenhouse Effect that calculated that the Shell group alone was contributing 4 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions through its oil, natural gas and coal products. And the report warned that “by the time global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even to stabilise the situation”.

              The 1988 report said that scientists believed that the effects would become detectable late in the 20th or early 21st century. The report was written by members of Shell’s Greenhouse Effect Working Group and was based on a 1986 study, though the document reveals that Shell had commissioned “greenhouse effect” reports as early as 1981.

              The documents were found by Jelmer Mommers, a reporter with De Correspondent. They were posted on the Climate Files website, which is sponsored by the Climate Investigations Centre, an environmental activist group. Shell’s working group knew three decades ago that the change was real and formidable, warning that it would affect living standards and food supplies and have social, economic and political consequences. It also warned that rising sea levels could impair offshore installations, coastal facilities, harbours, refineries and depots.

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12027782

            • David

               /  April 19, 2018

              “have spent billions trying to stop any action to halt it.”

              This is untrue.

            • Griff

               /  April 19, 2018

              ROFL
              Merchants of doubt ,
              You see the result on here every single time the question of climte change comes up. People rabbiting talking points created by the well funded denial machine .
              I posted some of the links to American think tanks of the few scientists who dispute climate change yesterday.I could post many many more,
              Who do you think pays the thinks tanks to produce their garbage ?

              https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dark-money-funds-climate-change-denial-effort/
              https://theconversation.com/a-brief-history-of-fossil-fuelled-climate-denial-61273
              The same organizations that halted action on tobacco for decades using the same techniques and often the same people.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt

            • David

               /  April 19, 2018

              Griff, next thing you will be using Infowars as a reference source.

      • alloytoo

         /  April 19, 2018

        That’s very good, I fear his voice will be muffled.

  3. sorethumb

     /  April 19, 2018

    Listening to RNZ on a new air traffic control system, they expect a big increase in visitors to NZ so…. business as usual/posturing as usual?

  4. Zedd

     /  April 19, 2018

    At least this Govt. is attempting to address the issues.. rather than just say they are, BUT do Nothing about it; for 9 LOOOOOOOONG years.. ‘thx Natl’ for NOTHING 😦

    • artcroft

       /  April 19, 2018

      Thanks Labour for wasting $1,000,000,000 on Shane’s slush fund.

  5. Ray

     /  April 19, 2018

    9 comments Robert, mostly negative, I presume you know what shiny thing in the sky runs on.

    • robertguyton

       /  April 19, 2018

      Oh, Lordy! Ray believes in ufos!

    • Gezza

       /  April 19, 2018

      It runs on fusion doesn’t it? It consumes all the gas it gives off (or it will do) & it’s unlikely there’s any life on its surface or within its atmosphere so not really sure what knowing the sun is comprised of gas has to do with AGW or climate change on planet No 4?

      • robertguyton

         /  April 19, 2018

        The chance that there is life on the sun is about the same as Simon Bridges becoming our next Prime Minister; zero.

        • Gezza

           /  April 19, 2018

          Correct up to the semi-colon. Seems hugely improbable but can’t be entirely be ruled out.

          • robertguyton

             /  April 19, 2018

            Can be, Gezza, by me in any case and I have.

        • phantom snowflake

           /  April 19, 2018

          Hey! What kind of hippie are you? Everything is alive! LOL

          • robertguyton

             /  April 19, 2018

            Life “on’ the sun, snowflake (none of your people, that’s certain). The sun itself, is, and it goes without saying though I will say it, a living being. Hippy enough for ya?

  6. Gezza

     /  April 19, 2018

    Oh well. At least some of this thread was worth reading before it became playtime at kindy.

  7. Reinvented

     /  April 19, 2018

    I know Keith Turner. I’m not sure what he knows about climate change but he is darned smart and a hell of an engineer in his field. He’s not going to be sucked in by bullshit.

  8. Gezza

     /  April 20, 2018

    Mike Hosking’s great fear, with the appointment of those to the Climate Change Committee – that will become the Climate Change Commission when and if the Greens ever pass their carbon neutral laws is that they – to put it quite simply – are going to wreck the country.

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/video/mikes-minute-greens-plan-arse-about-face/

    But it’s Mikey 😡 , so he would say that! :/ 😀

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