Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Pausing Climate Commission’s work more urgent


“One of New Zealand’s most eminent economists has busted open the sketchy basis for many of the Climate Commission’s draft recommendations to the Government, concluding they regularly misrepresented evidence to support their positions,” says ACT Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.

“Ian Harrison from Tailrisk Economics has worked for the Reserve Bank, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements. His 165 page analysis of the Climate Commission’s draft report deserves attention.

“This is another reason the Commission’s work should be paused until the modelling its recommendations were based on can be released for scrutiny, which ACT called for last week after it became clear they won’t be available for another three months. This is well after the Commission’s final report is due with the Government.

“Mr Harrison has reviewed the Commission’s work and concluded the modelling has been manipulated and key recommendations were not evidence-based:

“In particular, he says:

  • The Commission's modelling was manipulated to show that subsidising electric vehicles as a matter of urgency was somehow essential to the electrification of New Zealand’s light vehicle fleet.
  • The Commission has ignored the Zero Carbon Act and targeted a zero gross emissions target, substantially ignoring the role of exotic forests in reducing the cost of lowering net emissions and falsely claims the evidence shows that due to climate, exotic forests are an insecure method of reducing emissions, while the paper they cite shows the opposite.

“What’s at stake is too big to get wrong.

“Mr Harrison says on the Commission’s modelling the cost could be $100 billion higher than the current policy of letting the emissions trading scheme do its job and benefiting from technological change, which incidentally is ACT policy.

“If we get this stuff wrong it will be catastrophic to the economy and New Zealanders’ quality of life.

“This process must be paused until everyone with an interest can review the data the Commission is basing its frankly wild policy recommendations on.”

ENDS