NZ’s environmental watchdog challenges climate policy on farm emissions and forestry offsets
The greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide, from burping and urinating livestock, account for about half of New Zealand’s total emissions. These agricultural emissions have been the elephant in the room of New Zealand climate policy for some time.
A report released by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) this week suggests New Zealand should treat biological emissions differently from carbon dioxide emissions. It also says afforestation is a risky approach to combating climate change if planting trees is used to offset carbon emissions.
The report threatens to turn environmental policy and its principal policy tool, the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS), on its head.
New Zealand’s Pacific reset: strategic anxieties about rising China
China’s expanding influence is complicating strategic calculations throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Small states, dependent on maintaining high levels of trade with China to secure their prosperity, are loathe to criticise or take actions that Beijing could find objectionable. This is creating a dilemma over how small states can protect their national interests at a time when China’s growing influence threatens the status quo.
New Zealand illustrates this dynamic. It watches China extend its influence into the microstates of the South Pacific, a region where New Zealand (and its ally Australia) have long enjoyed a position of prominent influence.
New Zealand’s new gun law: What you need to know
Politicians have almost unanimously passed a ban on high-power guns in response to the Christchurch mosque attack.
So what will change, what won’t, and how did it happen?
Of 120 members parliament, only one opposed the changes: the libertarian Act party’s sole MP, David Seymour. He argued the laws have been rushed through too quickly and without enough consultation.
By legislative standards, the process has moved at lightning speed. Lawmakers often mull bills for at least six months. Friday will mark four weeks since the March 15 terror attack that killed 50 people in Christchurch.
Why A New Zealand Official Insists ‘Facebook Can’t Be Trusted’
Rachel Martin talks to New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner John Edwards, who criticized Facebook after last month’s attacks on two mosques in Christchurch were live-streamed on Facebook.