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									             IPS Seminar
               3rd August, 2007

  Policy near the tipping point:
  how carbon neutral NewZealand
  can lead a carbon negative world

              Peter Read
Massey University Centre for Energy Research
           WHY ? – Art 3.3
• The Parties should take precautionary
• Where there are threats of serious or
  irreversible damage , lack of full scientific
  certainty should not be used as reason for
  postponing such measures …[which] …
  should be cost effective so as to ensure
  global benefits
             Compare Art 4.2(d)
• The Conference of Parties shall review the adequacy
  of [the Rio Convention commitments] in the light of the
  best available scientific information. …
  [so what‟s the best scientific information? what
  everybody assents to ?? The law of gravity ???]

• Based on this review the COP shall… adopt
  amendments to the commitments….
  [which became the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, finalized (with
  the COP convoy sailing at the speed of the slowest ship
  – i.e., Saudi Arabia, briefed by the US coal lobby) after
  four years of tortuous negotiation, with the Marrakesh
  accords of 2001. ]
Is there a threat ?

Some controversial climate science

(But note that the IPCC 4th Assessment Report [the best scientific information ?] is
sanitized in its references to climatic instability – visit )

So: vide

Hansen, J., M. Sato, P. Kharecha, G. Russell D.W. Lea and M. Siddall, 2007.
“Climate change and trace gases”, Phil Trans Roy Soc (A), 365, 1925-54.

Ruddiman, W., 2003. “The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era Began Thousands
of Years Ago”, Climatic Change, 61, 261-293.

Controversial ? They disagree with each other ! [that can‟t be good science, surely ??]
          But first a cautionary tale
The ozone hole
It had long been known that CFC‟s could destroy the ozone of the upper
    atmosphere that protects life on earth from damaging ultra-violet radiation.
    Balloons were flown worldwide since 1974 to monitor this process and
    seasonal polar ozone depletion was apparent long before the Antarctic ozone
    hole appeared. But the observations were attributed to faulty instrumentation
    by the computers set up to process the data, which embodied theory that
    projected uniform depletion worldwide. Only after a U2 flight showed that the
    instrument readings were correct was theory developed to explain this
    scientific „surprise‟ – that very cold high altitude ice crystals at the end of
    Antarctic winter could concentrate CFC molecules and catalyse accelerated
    local destruction of ozone. So theory-led denial of observations led to
    continued use of CFC‟s and to more severe and longer lasting ozone hole
    damage than need have been.
Conclusion: The absence of a theory for a potential disaster mechanism,
         and/or its non-incorporation into models is no assurance of safety
“There is little doubt that projected warmings under BAU would initiate
albedo-flip changes as great as those that occurred at earlier times in the Earth‟s
history. The West Antarctic ice sheet today is at least as vulnerable as any of the
earlier ice sheets. The processes that give rise to nonlinear ice sheet response
(almost universal retreat of ice shelves buttressing the West Antarctic ice sheet
and portions of Greenland, increased surface melt and basal lubrication, speed-up
of the flux of icebergs from ice streams to the ocean, ice sheet thinning and thus
lowering of its surface in the critical coastal regions, and an increase in the
number of „icequakes‟ that signify lurching motions by portions of the ice sheets)
are observed to be increasing
“Part of the explanation for the inconsistency between palaeoclimate data and
IPCC projections lies in the fact that existing ice sheet models are missing
realistic (if any) representation of the physics of ice streams and icequakes,
processes that are needed to obtain realistic nonlinear behaviour. In the absence
of realistic models, it is better to rely on information from the Earth‟s history.
That history reveals large changes of sea level on century and shorter timescales.
All, or at least most, of glacial-to-interglacial sea-level rise is completed
during the ca 6 kyr quarter cycle of increasing insolation forcing as additional
portions of the ice sheet experience albedo flip. There is no evidence in the
accurately dated terminations (I and II) of multi-millennia lag in ice sheet
response. We infer that it would be not only dangerous, but also foolhardy to
follow a BAU path for future GHG emissions.” [Hansen, et al, op cit]
         Surface Melt on Greenland

Melt descending
into a moulin, a
vertical shaft
carrying water to
ice sheet base

      Quite a
      bit of
      here ! (PR)
                    Source: Roger Braithwaite, University of Manchester
This and
slides from
W. Ruddiman,
op cit (PR)

Ca. 6000 year deglaciations followed by slower glaciating phases in the
last ~half million years. * indicates the insolation peaks ending the
warming phases. Note → the increase of CO2 levels since the last (St1)
insolation peak, attributed to anthropogenic emissions related to forest fire
deforestation in the course of land clearance for agricultural expansion (PR)
Depopulation due to plagues caused abandonment of agricultural land and forest
regrowth, taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and leading to cool climatic phases –
the „little ice age‟ after the Black Death and the „dark ages‟ after the plagues that
occurred with the collapse of the Roman empire (PR)
Methane in atmosphere trended upwards (anomalously compared with
earlier glaciating phases) coinciding with the commencement of paddy
field rice cultivation about 5000 years ago (PR)
Conclusion: Earth’s climate is extremely sensitive to anthropogenic forcing

“Most critically, researchers know relatively little about feedback effects
that might enhance – or weaken – the pace and effects of climate
“Key sticking points include the inability of global climate models to
[re]produce the amount of sea level rise observed over the past couple of
decades and whether ice flows at the bases of glaciers is accelerating or
not. How volatile the Antarctic and Greenland glaciers might become in
a warmer world is therefore pretty much guesswork”
Nature, pp280-281, 8.Feb, 2007
So yes, the science is uncertain
 We (posterity and NZ Inc.) need a precautionary policy
          Biosphere Carbon Stock Management
 [maybe enough – but maybe need albedo enhancement also]

Read P., Lermit J., 2005.
       “Bio-energy with carbon storage (BECS): A sequential decision
  approach to the threat of abrupt climate change”, Energy. 30: 2654-2671.
Read, P. and A. Parshotam, 2007.
      “Holistic Greenhouse Gas Management Strategy (with Reviewers‟
         Comments and author rejoinders)”. Institute of Policy Studies
    Working Paper 07/1, VUW //
Read, P., 2008
      “Biosphere Management of Carbon Stocks.:Addressing the threat
               of abrupt climate change in the next few decades.”
               Forthcoming Editorial Essay in Climatic Change
Biosphere Carbon Stock Management

1. extract more CO2 from the atmosphere
2. stock it somewhere safer

As a precautionary strategy
A Do low cost enabling things first (be prepared)
B Do costly things later if need be (enabled by A)
As regards 1, there is only one way

It involves large scale land improvement to raise its
productivity and yield all we need in co-produced food/fibre
with fuel

(call it “Global Gardening” – if we look after Mother Nature
there‟s some chance she will look after us )

It should be good news for farmers and landowners: instead of
difficult emissions reductions, the energy sector invests in low
cost land based activities to secure a strategic (biomass) raw
material supply and provide a hedge against high cost oil
As regards 2

i)     standing forest
ii)    Biochar soil improvement + bio-oils
iii)   BECS (Bio-Energy with CCS)
iv)    More wooden houses and other structures
As regards A

1.       Invest in forest plantations to stock carbon and act as a
         strategic reserve of biomass raw material
         (quite useful as timber if the climate change panic goes away)
2.       Invest in a vehicle fleet that is compatible with biofuels
         (a useful hedge against „peak oil‟ – the dear oil age
3.      Invest in biofuel supply systems
•    maybe 2nd generation cellulosic ethanol
•    maybe gasification and Fischer Tropsche liquids
•    maybe pyrolysis with biochar for soil improvement
•    maybe on-farm gasification linked to „herd-homes‟ and riparian
                   tree plantations to prevent pollution of our rivers

An investment should not be treated as a cost
As regards B

Be ready to retrofit CCS onto all large
stationary furnaces

CCS is a pure cost

But it can very easily be made 100 per cent
effective – biomass is coal‟s best friend !
But, mix in 20 per cent wood chips and you get zero emissions

From 100 tons fuel,
80 tons fossil results in 64 tons sequestered and 16 tons emissions
20 tons wood chips results in another 16 tons sequestered
Net emissions - zero
    Comparison of carbon removals (F) with emission reductions
    (Z) in mitigating the level of CO2 (in ppm) in the atmosphere


                1990      2000      2010      2020      2030      2040      2050      2060

A              SRES-A2
Z              SRES-A2 with a transition to zero emissions technologies between 2011 and 2035
F              SRES-A2 with a transition to land improvement carbon removal technologies over the
               same period, with land use change complete by 2035 and technological progress to 2060
Table 1: Summary of key illustrative data
Outputs                             linear increase to2035    then 1.5% tech progress till 2060
Forestry (co-produced timber and bio-energy on1 b Ha by 2035)
Lumber                                       10Gt/yr                     14.5Gt/yr
C content of Biochar                         1.2Gt/yr                    1.74Gt/yr
Biodiesel                                    20EJ/yr                     29EJ/yr
Electricity                                  23.1EJ/yr                   33.5EJ/yr
Ethanol                                      31.4EJ/yr                   45.6EJ/yr
Stock of C in bio-char soil improvement        15Gt                       52Gt
Stock of C in standing plantation            120Gt                       183Gt
Stock of C in avoided deforestation             8Gt                       38Gt
Stock of C from CO2 of fermentation            2.4Gt                      11.5Gt
Stock of C from flue gas CCS                   9Gt                        60Gt
Sugar Cane (co-produced sugar and bio-energy on 0.43 b Ha by 2035)
Ethanol                                      115EJ/yr                    167EJ/yr
Electricity                                   85EJ/yr                    123EJ/yr
Stock of C from CO2 of fermentation            7.2Gt                      34.7Gt
Stock of C from flue gas CCS                   9.2Gt                      60.5Gt
Switchgrass (co-produced protein and bio-energy on 0.72 b Ha by 2035)
Ethanol                                      113EJ/yr                    163EJ/yr
Electricity(net)                              4.8EJ/yr                    7.0EJ/yr
Stock of C from CO2 of fermentation            8.6Gt                      41.6Gt
Stock of C from flue gas CCS                   13.8Gt                     90Gt
Aggregate energy supplies (not optimised – just an illustration)
Ethanol                                 259EJ/yr            376EJ/yr
Biodiesel                                20 EJ/yr            29EJ/yr
Electricity                             113 EJ/yr           164 EJ/yr
Carbon cycle impacts
C in oil displaced by bio-fuels         8.38Gt/yr            12.2Gt/yr
\C in coal displaced by bio-electricity 4.23Gt/yr            6.14Gt/yr
Stock of C left as in situ fossil fuel  164Gt              549Gt
Stock of C in standing plantation       120Gt              183Gt
Stock of C in avoided deforestation        8Gt               38Gt
Stock of C in bio-char soil improvement 15Gt                 52Gt
Stock of C from CO2 of fermentation       18Gt               88Gt
Stock of C from flue gas CCS              32Gt             210Gt
Total C reduction in atmosphere and proximate
sinks (e.g. ocean surface layers)with 357Gt                1120Gt
and without flue gas CCS                325Gt                910Gt
carbon removals is far more powerful than emissions reductions

And therefore peak oil and carbon removals go hand in hand ?

Not quite:

Sustainability is costly and sustainable best practice
constitutes proof of ‘Additionality’ up to ‘leaky
bucket’ standards [see How ? below].

So: unsustainably produced bioenergy does more harm
than good:::


                            500                                         A

                CO2 (ppm)
                            400                                         H

                              1980   2000   2020          2040   2060   2080

A         SRES-A2
D         SRES-A2 with sugar cane, switch-grass and forestry land use change
activities but no CCS
G         SRES-A2 with three land use change activities and 30 tC per ha
released through land use change
H         SRES-A2 with three land use change activities and 90 tC per ha
released through land use change
I         SRES-A2 with three land use change activities and 300 tC per ha
released through land use change
     HOW? : global implementation
Calculations illustrates impact of BCSM on C in atmosphere
Do NOT illustrate how it could be implemented
NOT a thousand million Ha plantations worldwide (3 in NZ) BUT
• a million thousand Ha plantations (3000 in NZ) – and many other
  types of BCSM project – each serving local needs and providing
  sustainable rural development paths
• Capacity building programme to train ~100,000 grassroots
  entrepreneurs with skills to engage commitment of farmers,
  communities, villages, etc., to initiate country-driven projects
  funded by energy consumers seeking sustainable best practice
  bio-fuel supplies
• A framework of bi-lateral bio-energy partnerships in which
  South partners agree to objective sustainability criteria in
  exchange for investment, technology transfer and a shared hedge
  against peak oil, shared with North partner (e.g. NZ and selected
  Pacific Island partners).
                              A problem
Most carbon removals systems involve land use change with a large margin of error in
  determining how much C has been removed (OK, you can measure how much
  biochar goes into the soil, but what about claimed methane and nitrous oxide
  emissions reductions, and increased soil organic matter and increased crop yield…..?
But an emissions cap generates a need for rigorous accounting
History of difficulty in negotiating land use change offsets in Kyoto (Art 3.3,
   forestation) leads to complex rules and high transactions costs. Hence only 2 LUC
   projects under the CDM, neither forestry.
A small but beautifully formed teaspoon is not much use for bailing CO2 out of the S.S.
   Atmosphere : if the ship is sinking a leaky bucket is much more use
So aim to drive policy-desirable BCSM projects with minimal trasnsactions cost through
   bilateral bio-energy partnerships
(Eventually, learning from experience, converging on a second and complementary
   [Wellington?] protocol hanging from Art 3.3).
Then the psychology is quite different: instead of a punitive zero sum emissions cap
   game, such a project oriented approach releases entrepreneurial energy to get ahead
   with securing market share and competitive edge with the new policy oriented
  HOW ? – a leading role for NZ
NZ economy is more exposed to accelerating climate change
  impacts than any other Annex 1 country and needs an
  effective post-2012 regime
NZ economy has comparative advantage in the land based
  activities that are central to BCSM, and consultancy
  expertise for relevant technology transfer
And because BCSM serves multiple objectives in the
  Millennium Development Goals and Multilateral
  Environmental Agreements that New Zealand supports
Another problem – Carbon neutral NZ ?
                                      (from Ward, 2007)

                                                                   Projected Emissions

                      Deficit 2008-2012          Deficit 2013-2030 ??

         Net offset by 3.3 LULUCF

             Target 1990 minus 0%
                                                      Target 1990 minus 20%

  1990                                2008     2012                                      2030
Royal Soc says 3m Ha low return land in NZ
Plant 150,000 Ha p.a. for 22 yrs from 2011 to establish a 22yr rotation normal forest
(better get busy propagating seedlings next year ! )
Assume zero growth for 2 years and 8 tons C p.a. per Ha for 20 yrs
                                                 =~ 30 t CO2 captured per Ha p.a.
Then 30 x 150,000 = 4.5 Mt CO2 in 2013,
                    9 Mt CO2 in 2014,
                   13.5 Mt CO2 in 2015 etc…
……till              85.5 Mt CO2 in 2031
and                 90 Mt CO2 in 2032
This gives 945Mt CO2 permanently stocked in the normal plantation forest by 2032
NZ Business As Usual emissions 2010-2030 average ~42Mt p.a. 2012-2032
20 yrs x 42 Mt p.a. = 840mt CO2 BINGO – carbon neutral NZ !!
Carbon negative if all those other emissions reductions policies work OK
From 2033 there is an annual crop of 320 tons / Ha x 150,000 Ha = 48m tons p.a.
Say 24 m tons timber for more wooden houses, etc
And ~ 24m.t. x 16GJ/ton = ~400PJ bioenergy raw material p.a. for ever
                                       (around half NZ demand for primary energy)
Forestry (commercial) is NOT [as has been stated] a trivial tool for mitigation
Then, in domestic policy:
Adopt ambitious aspirational targets:
   • Aspire towards a rising proportion of sustainably
   produced (not all in NZ) biofuels

   •Aspire towards a large proportion of flexifuel cars in
   the new car import mix

   • Aspire towards importers of 2nd hand cars to adapt
   them to 10 per cent ethanol

   • Aspire towards investment by stationary emitters
   [both energy, and land use based] in a rising area of
   sustainably managed new plantations (not all in NZ)
Getting action on these aspirations

Given that the carbon price is already serving the emissions reduction
commitment, we need a second tool to drive the BCSM programme

Make use of the policy tool that is wasted in the pork-barrel politics of
grandfathering versus auctioning the initial issue of emissions permits

Give the permits away* [up to the level of the „cap‟] on condition that
recipients surrender Carbon Removals Vouchers certified independantly
(e.g. by Veritas) in a proportion to the permit issue that increases over time.

Equivalent to Renewable Portfolio Standards used in the USA (e.g.
California, and proposed in Bills before the Federal Congress). Also
equivalent to recycling auction revenues but keeps government agencies out
of the front line.

*Initially grandfathered to incumbent firms but with an increasing proportion for new entrants
Forestry is the most powerful technique
  available for carbon removals
Yet the NZ Government has totally stuffed up
 its dealings with the forestry sector
Carbon Removal Vouchers put the job in the
 hands of firms at the point of policy obligation
 – energy firms and other emitters (livestock
 farmers, Fonterra, meat processing firms?)
Through diplomacy

Draw attention of Conference of Parties to the threat of ACC
and responsibilities under Art 3.3 . NZ is doing this – what
are you doing?
Seek partners for BBP‟s
Network other industrialized countries to initiate their own BBP‟s
Work through the G8 Global Bioenergy Partnership towards
consensus on sustainability criteria and eventual convergence
on a second Protocol, complementary to Kyoto
Negotiate emissions reductions commitments that reflect carbon
removals activity without the nausea of detailed accounting or
demonstrating additionality (i.e. sustainable best practice is sufficient).
Thank you for coming

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