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We won’t get a ‘freedom day’ from the climate crisis without technology
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We won’t get a ‘freedom day’ from the climate crisis without technology

We Won't Get a 'Freedom Day' from Climate Crisis Without Technology



Mark Thomas says technology has helped us ease out the restrictions on Covid and will be critical to gaining the upper hand in the climate change crisis.

As freedom reigns at Auckland, which is a reflection of a gaining control over the crisis, Covid-19, it is time to get back to applying our efforts to breaking the climate change crisis.

Technology is an important element in helping Kiwis to survive the Covid-induced constraints. It also helps in managing its impacts better through new scanning and social distance monitoring.

Yet, 642 million tonnes of CO2 have been consumed more than necessary to combat climate change. Technology can help us reset our diet.

Consultation has just finished on the government’s Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) which, when it is published in May 2022, will proscribe the direction for New Zealand to gain more climate freedom.

To achieve this, we will need a technology roadmap that runs alongside the final ERP route. This will allow us to make more progress in deploying existing or future climate technology solutions.

Importantly, it will also be need to strengthen New Zealand’s innovation, research and development pipeline to explore, test and commercialise future climate solutions.

New Zealand boasts world-leading technology expertise in a variety of areas, including movie-making and rockets as well as yachting. This is also increasing in energy, transport, as well as agriculture. However, we are still developing this tech capability to make a New Zealand-wide difference.

In the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2021New Zealand was 25th out of 25 countries in terms of technological advancement.Th.  Almost all comparable small economies were in the top 10: Singapore (2nd), Switzerland (3rd), Sweden (5Th), Denmark (6Th), Israel (7ThFinland (8Th) and NeTherlands (9th).

The Climate Change Commission claims that we have all the technology necessary to meet its recommended emission goals. If that’s true, we’re obviously not doing the best job we can in utilising it.

The UK Climate Change Committee, which is their version of our Commission set a better example. In their first report in 2010 It said that the UK government should create a climate strategy to address climate change because there was strong support for it. It said that UK businesses should be able lead the development of important new technologies for reducing emissions if they have sufficient funding and have new policies and operating methods.

It was so. The UK government introduced new rules to ensure competitive technology markets are in place, it revised its regulatory approach and funded the development of technology both from fundamental research to pre-commercial trials. The UK has been a leader in climate change technology, with its carbon emissions falling faster than any other developed country.

2013 was the The Technology Executive Committee at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recommended that countries prioritize technology, including the adoption Technology Roadmaps, in order to accelerate climate change adaptation and mitigation.

They evaluated 190 existing Technology RoadmapsAcross 21 countries New Zealand did not feature, except in an Australian-led study on an aviation technology fuel roadmap. The study found Technology roadmaps can be used to promote the development of technology activity. They show trends, objectives, and actions in a well-organized manner. This approach also helps build consensus and can reduce investment.

The strategic use of technology has been a key contributor in Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Switzerland all of whom have reduced their GHG emissions by at least 10 percent since 2000. New Zealand’s emissions climbed 7 percent over the same period.

Denmark prioritized four technology options across its carbon-intensive sectors: energy efficiency and electrification, as well as a shift towards green mobility and biogas.

In particular, technology roadmaps were used in industries. focusing on the harder-to-abate sectors. Public policy mechanisms, including incentives to bring the programmes to a competitive market standard, are a key component of this.

The highest-ranked country was Sweden. European Union’s Annual Climate Change Performance Index 2020. It created a national roadmap for implementing the European Environmental Technologies Action Plan. It aimed at cataloguing all existing technologies in a searchable database, linking technology investments to climate performance targets, and creating new financial tools to reduce risk-sharing in environmental technologies.

It also increased the contribution of environmental technology in Sweden’s economy and increased exports of these technologies.

Technology roadmap approaches could include treatment of urine patches, including nitrification inhibitors, in priority areas like agriculture. Published results are showing 90 percent reductions in nitrous oxide. There are also methane vaccines that can be used to protect ruminants, and methanogen-inhibiting food supplements.

In energy, the development and implementation of smart EV charger regulations could be a major step forward Minimize the impact on electricity network peak levels and thus cost to consumers. Expanded digital platform use would help optimise the energy system and obtain more affordable electrification.

We could follow Finland’s lead and create policy tools to encourage technology usage to deliver a more service-based transportation system. We could use the Mobility as Service approach (MaaS), and create an easy-to use platform where citizens can easily access and pay all the ways they can travel around a city.

The Roadmap for Buildings and Construction produced for the Global Alliance for Buildings highlights other opportunities to reduce emissions in building, construction, waste and other areas.

A recent PWC study concluded that, despite powerful new technologies such as AI, the cloud, blockchain and advanced sensors enabling emissions reductions solutions, the overall levels of investment and innovation in climate technology have been inadequate to deliver the net zero transformation the world has signed up to.

Combination Microsoft and PWC analysisAI alone could reduce global carbon emissions by the equivalent of what is produced by Australia and Canada by 2030, according to evidence.

However, we will need a technology roadmap that shows us how to get to our Climate Freedom Day equivalent.


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