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Election 2023: How do we tackle climate change? National, Labour, Act, Greens, Te Pāti Māori and NZ

Our latest selection of articles from New Zealand and around the world on environmental management and sustainability. Click here to subscribe.


With our national election fast approaching environment and climate change issues have been getting plenty of airtime in the media recently and political parties have had to articulate their visions and policies, in a time when recent climate related events are top of mind for many Kiwis. Particularly challenging is how to deal with agricultural emissions though in the US, farmers are adding rocks to their fields.


Equally important to achieving this goal more quickly is the need for an equitable transition with the IEA’s Net Zero Roadmap calling for stronger international cooperation that takes different national circumstances into account. Meanwhile other studies see vegan diets for pets playing a major role.


Efficient use of existing critical minerals, in particular recycling – rather that emissions intensive mining – are also necessary – and can decrease costs, increase productivity, and reduce emissions.


Culture is always a big determinant in how we frame and respond to environment and climate issues. In Norway the beneficial relationship to the environment and nature is enshrined in the younger years, while in the US – despite the demise of the US coal industry – a midwestern town crowns its new Coal Queen.


Here is the full list of articles...


With the recent election and the post-election maneuvering understanding how all parties have widely varying positions on how to meet our climate commitments - especially when it comes to the headache of how to slash those large-looming agricultural emissions – is critical. Biogenic methane emissions aren’t subject to our hard mid-century target – they instead need to come down by between 24 to 47 per cent by 2050 – but there have been moves to make farmers pay for their climate pollution as other industries do. Read more…


Tripling global installed renewables capacity to 11,000 gigawatts by the end of the decade is the surest way to keep global climate action on track, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest net zero roadmap – a scenario where 2030 is the new 2050 and electricity is the “new oil.”It hinges on mobilising a significant increase in investment, especially in emerging and developing economies. In the new zero pathway, global clean energy spending rises from $US1.8 trillion in 2023 to $US4.5 trillion annually by the early 2030s. Read more…


And the prospects of the world staying within the 1.5C limit on global heating have brightened owing to the ‘staggering’ growth of renewable energy and green investment in the past two years. Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA said “Despite the scale of the challenges, I feel more optimistic than I felt two years ago. Solar photovoltaic installations and electric vehicle sales are perfectly in line with what we said they should be, to be on track to reach net zero by 2050, and thus stay within 1.5C”. Read more…



The transition to clean energy technologies is driving up the demand for critical minerals like lithium, gallium, and rare earth metals, leading to concerns of supply shortages and price volatility. China currently dominates the extraction and processing of these minerals, creating supply constraints. To restore balance, two alternative approaches are suggested. Firstly, reducing the demand for critical minerals through innovation and redesigning clean energy products to use fewer materials. Secondly, increasing the supply by advanced recycling of old technology products, such as decommissioned solar panels. Research indicates that recycling could be a more sustainable and stable solution, with companies like ROSI Solar and SOLARCYCLE leading the way in recycling efforts. Read more…



The shift to renewable energy has led to a significant increase in green jobs, with 13.7 million people employed in renewable energy fields in 2022. These jobs encompass solar, bioenergy, hydropower, and wind sectors. Renewable energy now accounts for over half of the global energy workforce, with projections suggesting an additional 30 million workers will join the sector by 2030. While these jobs tend to be more highly skilled, traditional energy sectors often offer higher wages, posing a challenge in ensuring a just transition for fossil fuel workers. Read more…



Talking of jobs in energy... Coal was everything for Marissa, Illinois. But what happens when a community is centered on a fossil fuel? Despite there only being a few actual coal mines left in the area, coal is still sacred here. An underground coal mine and power plant still employs several people in town and is a source of pride. They even hold a local celebration, known colloquially as Marissa Coal Fest - a weekend of carnival-like festivities. Read more…



From taking rocks out of the ground, to putting rocks back in the ground... Topsoil is powerless to counteract the acidifying effect of ammonia-based fertilizers. Over the years, this has caused pH levels to drop to 5 and below. Startup companies across the US are bringing crushed volcanic rock to farmers’ fields and spreading it to improve their soils. The rock powder, usually basalt, is often scavenged from local mines or quarries, where it exists as a waste by-product. Read more…



We have covered off the importance of interacting with nature before, the benefits include improvements in general wellbeing (both physical & mental). Norway has enshrined interacting with nature at part of it’s national identity. Filuftsliv is installed in Norwegian from birth, 83% are interested in Filuftsliv, 77% spend time in nature on a weekly basis and 25% do so most days. It’s even covered off in some company policies (so you can head for the hills Friday at 4:00pm), get out there and improve your personal wellness. Read more…



World’s dogs going vegan ‘would save more emissions than UK produces! A study estimated cats and dogs consume about 9% of all land animals killed for food, as well as billions of fish and aquatic animals. The research at the University of Winchester calculated that if all the world’s dogs went vegan, it would free up a larger land mass than Mexico and more freshwater than all the renewable freshwater in Denmark and would feed about 450 million additional people, it makes you think! Read more…





This week we have the following innovation articles we hope you find interesting:


Hydrology Report - 12 October 2023



Electricity Price Index - 12 October 2023








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