First impressions report: Great meeting. Enthusiastic participation from heaps of speakers. There was a disconnect between the audience who appeared to overwhelmingly support a 40% emissions cut by 2020 (a la signon), and Nick Smith, who in response to a useful question from D (why can’t we have some shorter-term goals, say 2% per year?), said it will be hard enough to stop NZ emissions from further rising, let alone achieving the required substantial cuts. Smith wanted us to truthfully present to people what 40% would mean for our society. It’s not a tweak; it’s a shake-up. What’s needed now, I think, is some visioning (ick — for want of a better word): some sketching out of pathways to a low-carbon future. What do agriculture, transport and electricity generation look like in a 40%-reduced-CO2e NZ? Also needed is of course leadership at all levels, from John Key down. On the way home Eliza talked about Key’s needing to give some World War II-esq speeches — this is a massive challenge, we will need to pull together, sacrifice our comforts for a noble cause, etc. I admit that is hard to imagine. Here is what was on John Key’s mind this past week (the weather, sporting events, a feel-good trip around the Pacific):
More on this from Tim Jones.