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Submissions

From time to time ESR makes submissions to Local Bodies or to Government, on issues of concern.  These submissions are listed here and can be accessed for perusal.

Papers are presented in .PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader .

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National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy Submission February 2017

 

Our colleagues over at the Sustainable Energy Forum Inc have prepared this submission and comment on the new National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy and have forwarded it to Government.

 In brief, NZ is falling woefully behind other countries in efforts to raise energy efficiency and energy productivity. NZ is very slow in taking actions to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). NZ is not aggressively working to implement or adapt to the use of new technologies.

These factors are impacting negatively on NZ’s potential economic growth, whilst they also reveal planning to fail to meet NZ’s climate change obligations.

 SEF believes New Zealand must do better. To achieve better results the actions and targets included in the strategy must change.   More...


ESR Submission to the Government, on the TPPA 

March 2016

The TPPA in its current form is strongly aligned to protecting relatively short-term corporate business interests rather than addressing more important and wider environmental and other issues. In particular, there is no reference to climate change, even though this is the most urgent and critical issue currently facing mankind (1).

In earlier drafts of the TPPA there were references to working together to combat climate change, but these were removed at US insistence. Now the agreement does not mention climate change a single time.   More...

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ESR Submission to the Government, on the ETS

February 2016

Moving to a charging system for emissions that is simpler, fairer, more transparent, more effective and involves lower administration costs, for example a standard carbon charge payable to the government that applies to all New Zealand-based emissions.  More...

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ESR Letter to Engineering Insight Magazine

The Featured Letter on page 3 of Engineering Insight September/October 2015 Volume 16/5 published by IPENZ follows.


Professional Engineers and Climate Change

Engineers for Social Responsibility Inc. (ESR) is an independent group of engineers with interest in the role of engineering in achieving sustainable and equitable energy, environmental, and social systems. 

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. The negative effects particularly affect developing countries and are only beginning to be felt. They will increase greatly over coming decades unless we all accept our responsibilities and substantially reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

We urge all professional engineers to take leadership in transitioning New Zealand to a low-carbon future.

Engineers have a vital role in raising energy efficiency standards, and in planning, designing and building stormwater, communications and transport systems. Every man-made chemical with greenhouse potential, every mine, every earth-mover, highway, aeroplane and factory farm is an engineered system.

There are renewable electricity generation plants consented but not built with a combined capacity of 3000MW. That additional capacity could be used to achieve emission reductions through the transition of transport energy demand from liquid fuels to electricity. The electricity market should be reorganised to encourage demand side management. A predictable and rising carbon price should be introduced, and all fossil fuel subsidies discontinued. Urban transport policies should prioritise reducing vehicle travel demands.

It is time for engineers to recognise their responsibilities; to change things so that they contribute to ensuring an equitable, more sustainable and more resilient future. All IPENZ members will ultimately be responsible for this transition to a low-carbon engineered system, or for their failure to act.

Ross Rutherford MIPENZ,

ESR President

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ESR Submission on "New Zealand's Climate Change Target Discussion Document", Ministry for the Environment, May 2015

The Discussion Document sets out the issues relatively clearly and succinctly.  However, the discussion reads like a series of excuses for avoiding or delaying action.  Continuing to delay action  is not a way forward.  The following sets out a number of the issues raised in the discussion document and our responses.   More ... PDF 135kB

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Otago Regional Council Policy Statement Review Consultation Draft 26 November 2014

ESR’s submission focuses on responding to the potential impacts of climate change and on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It proposes some changes to the section headed Objective 2.3, including the addition of proposed Methods.   More  (PDF 70k)

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Submission to the Prime Minister on the required reduction of New Zealand's CO2 emissions

We urge the New Zealand Government to set an ambitious target for reduction of our gross greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and beyond, in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris in late 2015.  In our view this should take the form of a commitment to a minimum 10% reduction in our 2012 gross emissions total by 2020 and 30% by 2030 (equivalent to 2% a year from 2016).   More  (PDF 56 KB)

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Submission to Government

on the draft Government Policy Statement

on land transport 2015/16 to 2024/25

Parts of the Engagement Draft read like a document that sets out policies for the coming 10 years while looking in the rear view mirror. Road investment is promoted. The primary response to severe congestion is to manage roads more efficiently, and to invest in removing bottlenecks and building new roads - very reflective of the 20th century.   More   (PDF 60.5 KB)

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Submission to Auckland Council

on "Low Carbon Auckland"

ESR strongly supports the aim of changing Auckland to a low carbon city by 2040. We are extremely concerned at the potential impacts of climate change on ecosystems and humanity and see it essential that early, ongoing, and effective action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).   More ... (PDF 72kB)

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Climate Change and Kyoto

Letter to the Prime Minister 6 Dec 2012:

We are very concerned at the Government’s decision to pull out of the Kyoto protocol and instead to enter into “talks about talks” to quote 1 December 2012 Economist article headed “Theatre of the absurd”. These talks are supposed to negotiate a new climate change regime by 2015 and have one in force by 2020!   More ... (PDF 12kB)

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“Realising our Hidden Treasure…”

 This is a response from Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR) to the IPENZ report Realising Our Hidden Treasure: Responsible Mineral and Petroleum Extraction [1].  ESR disagrees with the core principles that underpin the report, specifically that:

 · Economic growth is required to achieve the living standards that New Zealanders aspire to.

· A “global decision” has been taken that the responsibility for minimising greenhouse discharges lies with fossil fuel users, not producers [and, as such] it is not immoral or inappropriate to derive economic benefit from [New Zealand’s mineral and petroleum] resources.   More ... (PDF 60kB)

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Submission on the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill  

to the Parliamentary Select Committee for Local Government and Environment  (22 July 2012)

We are concerned about some of the proposed changes outlined in the Local Government Act
2002 Amendment Bill, particularly the deletion of “social, economic, environmental, or cultural wellbeing” in Clauses 19, 20 and 25.

While we do understand the need for financial constraint in both Government and Local
Government, we do not agree that social, economic, environmental and cultural well being is the
sole responsibility of Central Government. Local government is charged with the responsibility of
looking after the citizens in their regions and they must be able to undertake a range of activities
that benefit their citizens. This is what our communities expect.  More ...

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Submission to Auckland Council on the draft Auckland Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022. (22 March 2012)

Engineers for Social Responsibility Incorporated supports the general direction being taken by the Auckland Council in the Draft Long Term Plan 2012-2022.  In particular ESR supports the emphasis on improving public transport, facilitating and encouraging more walking and cycling, and on achieving higher density, mixed use, quality urban development in selected centres and corridors.   More ...

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Submission to Auckland Council's Draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan. (25 January 2012)

This is ESR's response to the November 2011 Draft Waste Management and Minimisation Plan prepared by Auckland Council which can be found at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/wasteplan.  The central points are that the present waste collection and disposal arrangements must be improved to minimise the amount of material going to wasteful landfill, to improve the value and utilisation of recycled materials as well as to maintain a healthy and safe environment for Auckland residents.   More ...

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ESR Submission on the Auckland Plan  (28 October 2011)

Chapter 6 of the Draft Auckland Plan states the Auckland Council intends to develop energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies and action plans for adoption in 2012.  ESR strongly supports this and would welcome the opportunity of being involved in the process.

ESR considers that the following improvements are required to the Auckland Plan’s energy policies:

1.   It needs to be made much clearer that giving priority to the movement of people and freight rather than cars will mean that a lower priority will be given to the movement of cars, particularly single occupant cars.  Among other things, achieving this will mean allocating more road space to buses, high occupancy vehicles, and cyclists.    More...

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Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding  (24 May 2011)

ESR is concerned at Government intervention in the process of objective decision making on national land transport funding in favour of state highway construction.  Several of the Roads of National Significance will deliver a very poor economic return on investment. If the Government is really determined to drive efficiencies in the transport sector, this should be applied consistently to all projects and activities. Anything else implies a selective bias.

 Instead of relying on short term fixes we need to think seriously about ensuring New Zealand is a successful and desirable place to live for future generations. That is likely to require differing short term priorities. Above all it requires clear, measurable long term objectives for the transport sector, the achievement of which is monitored and regularly reported on.  More…

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To Auckland Council on Transport  (12 April 2011)

In ESR’s opinion, the Auckland Plan discussion document does not provide a clear or convincing description of the city’s transport options, and it does not adequately address the linkage between the nature and location of future land use development and the transport option selected.

ESR also considers that the Auckland Plan should take into account the potential implications of a sustained increase in fuel prices beyond that assumed in developing the RLTS 2010-2040, and the increased risk of future disruptions to supply. These would impact on the city’s economy and would particularly impact on the more vulnerable members of society.   More

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To Auckland Council on Waste Management  (25 March 2011)

We live in a finite world with finite resources that should not be disposed of in landfills.  The ultimate objective should be to do away with conventional landfills.  ESR commends the Council’s objectives in reducing waste, especially that going to landfill, encouraging the recycling of material.  ESR supports the Council’s ownership and operation of landfills, the establishment of Resource Recovery Centres, the imposition of container deposits on all beverage containers, and of a strong public education campaign in support of these moves.  More…

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