Welcome to another two weekly review of energy and environmental events and developments from both here in New Zealand and around the world. As always we hope you find our collection of stories to be of interest in what continues to be a rapidly evolving area.
Our last issue of Snippets speculated as to the unifying impact Trump might have on the fight against climate change. Based upon this week’s opening article, we judged the world reaction about right, with all other 19 nations of the G20 standing in solidarity to pursue the Paris climate accord. Maybe we don’t need to go as far as thank the Don, but he is surely a galvanising figure.
And as our next article discusses, we need to be as effective as possible in enacting the Paris climate accord if we are to avoid the worst scenarios of what is now inevitably a warming world. At the moment it looks like we are on track for a world 4C to 6C warmer, and it is now a question of not if, but how fast it is going to warm.
Given that we have no realistic alternative but to act on climate change, what does this potentially mean to our lifestyle? A recent study from Lund University in Sweden, aimed at quantifying the impact that different lifestyle changes might have on an individual’s carbon footprint, found among other findings, that having one less child can result in 58.6 tCO2e emission reductions per year.
Other lifestyle choices could include ensuring more of our presently discarded grains, fruits and vegetables become part of our productive food chain. There are a number of instances where this is already occurring, for example ‘Toast Ale’, where stale bread is fermented to produce beer, and ‘Rubies in the Rubble’ which makes relish from fresh fruit tossed out for their cosmetic blemishes.
It is interesting to contrast the two largest economies in the world in regards to actions on climate change. The US government is leaving cities and states to take action in the lack of a national directive. While on the other side there is China, now leaving the world in its wake as it moves to de-carbonize and clean its economy.
Tesla has been making waves in the EV market for years now, and are implementing technology in Australia that could revolutionize power grids by use of very large battery banks, to deal with intermittent generation. This technology should improve grid reliability and pave a future towards more sustainable cities.
On a more local level, Contact Energy and Wellington Electricity are trialing micro-grid technology right here in New Zealand. This is a very important step towards greater resilience and wellbeing for communities, one which may eventually provide greater resilience and energy security for the nation as a whole.
The next article focuses on two recent New Zealand cases where local governments are defending claims they failed to uphold the Resource Management Act. The courts have ruled in an unbiased manner, as it should, with positive results both in precedents set and for environmental impact.
Thanks for taking the time to read this issue and we look forward to catching up with you again. If you have any items of interest you would like to submit, then please feel free to forward them.