Simon Johnson

Moro bars and triple dips: Geoff Simmons fact checks Paula Bennett’s clean unit claim - Hot Topic

Sep 02, 2016

The Morgan Foundation’s Geoff Simmons has done a whiteboard Friday video on Minister for Climate Change Issues Paula Bennett’s claim that the surplus emission units are not tainted by the 97 million fake Russian and Ukrainian emission reduction units that the Climate Cheats report of April 2016 showed had been handed to the Government under the NZ emissions trading scheme. Geoff explains the issue very well and has the numbers right. More than that, I think Geoff should get the Joe Romm language intelligence award for using a great metaphor for New Zealand’s unethical use of the ‘hot air’ Ukrainian and Russian emission reduction units. Dodgy uncle Trev’s fake twenty dollar note. Your dodgy uncle Trev gives you a twenty dollar note. It looks like a ordinary twenty dollar note, but knowing uncle Trev, you … Read More

Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables - Hot Topic

May 24, 2016

New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy projects. My last post at Hot Topic was about energy companies Meridian and Genesis doing a deal to keep the Huntly Thermal Power Station open (and burning coal) for an extra four years. My post really just noted how backwards the decision was in terms of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. And that the expected shut-down of Huntly represented the only predicted drop in energy emissions New Zealand had advised to the UNFCCC. And that reduction has just gone up in smoke. However, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited and the Tiwai Point smelter have a malignant background role in the Huntly deal. Meridian … Read More

NZ’s emissions reductions go up in smoke as generators keep Huntly coal burning - Hot Topic

May 04, 2016

The decision to keep the Huntly coal thermal power station open for another four years is not only contrary to all New Zealand’s commitments and climate targets, it also sends the Ministry for the Environment’s projections of stabilising energy emissions to 2020 up in a cloud of coal smoke. We seem to have had an extra dose of announcements and activities about climate change in an action-packed month of April. Climate change minister Paula Bennett signed the UN Paris Agreement. The Morgan Foundation’s “Climate Cheats” report made a big splash. That lead to Jack Tame’s grilling of Paula Bennett. And the Royal Society of New Zealand released two major reports on climate change; one on impacts and another on policy responses. The business-backed Pure Advantage group released a report about enhancing forestry sequestration. So what did the New … Read More

Did NZ Steel make windfall arbitrage profits from the ETS? - Hot Topic

Apr 28, 2016

In the wake of the Morgan Foundations hard-hitting report “Climate Cheats”, Simon Johnson (aka Mr February) asks if New Zealand Steel received millions of emission units for free under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme industrial allocation provisions and yet still bought millions of the dubious international Russian units (ERUs) to make windfall arbitrage profits. The Morgan Foundation’s latest report “Climate Cheats” has been sizzling across the various media in the last week. The language of the report is refreshingly non-neutral and unashamedly emotive. It is in equal parts compelling and condemning. Carbon credit scheme a farce, reported the Herald. Climate change cheating, said Radio New Zealand. Dodgy deals, climate swindle, climate fraudsters, junk carbon scam, said report author Geoff Simmons. As a consequence, “Climate Cheats” is an easy and engaging read – no mean … Read More