Submission: Phasing out fossil fuels in process heat

Matt Burgess
20 May, 2021

Read our submission to the Ministry for the Environment on phasing out fossil fuels in process heat.

The New Zealand Initiative fully supports New Zealand’s emissions targets. The government’s chosen emissions strategy treats each part of the economy in isolation. This siloed approach makes it far more difficult to reduce emissions, threatening successful delivery of our emissions targets. Accordingly, the New Zealand Initiative must oppose the government’s proposals to reduce process heat emissions.

Emissions is a co-ordination problem. For most sectors and technologies, reducing the last few percent of emissions can be very difficult. Given the ‘last 1% problem,’ Ministers and officials should recognise the need for a mechanism to coordinates emissions reduction efforts across sectors. Without visibility of the very granular trade-offs involved, the government’s siloed strategy threaten our emissions targets. The government proposes to manage emissions at the level of individual resource consents, effectively making each consent its own silo. This strategy is all-but guarantees failure to reduce emissions to our targets.

For each sector, including process heat, the government should recognise its task is to discover, or enable the discovery of, that sector’s optimal contribution to lower net emissions over time. The government’s strategy of hard bans and picking winners is incompatible with this discovery approach.

Download the full submission to read it in full.


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