Dr Chris de Freitas

Dr Chris de Freitas

Prologue to Copenhagen

The Kyoto Protocol, an icon of the global environmental movement, is soon to be replaced by a more radical international accord to curb greenhouse gas emissions. What it will involve depends on the outcome of negotiations this December in Copenhagen. In preparation, the Government has committed New Zealand to cut up to a third of current emissions by 2020. The emissions trading scheme is a first step, but this alone cannot guarantee such a massive reduction. Sweeping legislation restricting the use of oil, coal and natural gas will be required, along with far-reaching reforms in pastoral farming to cut methane release. The economic and social implications for New Zealand are immense.