A UK journalist determined to expose false environmental claims has finally blown the lid on New Zealand’s 100% Pure image, and about time too.
For some time the contributors to this blog have been highlighting the 100% Pure construct and how it has little, if any, basis in reality being little more than a tourism tag line that somehow found its way into the nation’s collective consciousness.
Fred Pearce has revealed 100% Pure to be nothing other than 100% Pure Greenwashing.
“Lord of the Rings country trades on its natural beauty, but emissions have risen 22% since it signed up to Kyoto.”
“As the world prepares for the Copenhagen climate negotiations next month, it is worth checking out the greenwash that has followed the promises made 12 years ago when the Kyoto protocol was signed…..my prize for the most shameless two fingers to the global community goes to New Zealand, a country that sells itself round the world as “clean and green”.
New Zealand secured a generous Kyoto target, which simply required it not to increase its emissions greenhouse gases up by 22%, or a whopping 39% if you look at emissions from fuel burning alone between 1990 and 2010.
But the latest UN statistics show its emissions of some countries with big emissions growth started from a low figure in 1990. Arguably, they were playing catchup. There is no such excuse for New Zealand. Its emissions started high and went higher. They are today 60% higher than those of Britain, per head of population. Among industrialised nations, they are only exceeded by Canada, the US, Australia and Luxembourg. In recent years a lot of Brits have headed for Christchurch and Wellington in the hope of a green life in a country where they filmed the Lord of the Rings. But it’s a green mirage.
To rub our noses in it, last year New Zealand signed up to the UN’s Climate Neutral Network, a list of nations that are “laying out strategies to become carbon neutral“.
But if you read the small print of what New Zealand has actually promised, it is a measly 50% in emissions by 2050 – something even the US can trump.
Where do all these emissions come from? New Zealand turns out to be mining ever more filthy brown coal to burn in its power stations. It has the world’s third highest rate of car ownership. And, with more cows than people, the country’s increasingly intensive agricultural sector is responsible for approaching half the greenhouse gas emissions.
You might expect the UN Environment Programme to throw New Zealand off its list of countries supposedly pledged to head for climate neutrality. Sadly no. These steely guardians of the environment meekly say that the network “will not be policed… nor will UNEP verify claims“.
Indeed, it seems to go to great lengths to deny reality. Check the UNEP website and you will find an excruciating hagiography about a “climate neutral journey to Middle Earth“, in which everything from the local wines to air conditioning and Air New Zealand get the greenwash treatment.
After extolling the country’s green credentials, it asks: “Have you landed in a dreamland?” Well, UNEP’s reporter certainly has. He cheers New Zealand’s “global leadership in tackling climate change“, when the country’s minister in charge of climate negotiations, Tim Groser, has been busy reassuring his compatriots that “we would not try to be ‘leaders’ in climate change.”
This is not just political spin. It is also commercial greenwash. New Zealand trades on its greenness to promote its two big industries: tourism and dairy exports. Groser says his country’s access to American markets for its produce is based on its positive environmental image. The government’s national marketing strategy is underpinned by a survey showing that tourism would be reduced by 68% if the country lost its prized “clean, green image”, and even international purchases of its dairy products could halve.
The trouble is, on the climate change front at least, that green image increasingly defies reality.”
See also blog links under the headings of :
100% Pure Myth
100% Pure NZ – You Can’t Be Half Pregnant You Have To Go All The Way, The Age Of Stupid
Pollution – both of the air and water in NZ, plus health hazards
Kaweru Mill Can Continue To Pollute River For 25 Years
Bonn Climate Change Talks
Statistics Top 3
1080 – tonnes of highly toxic pesticide broadcast over the countryside from helicopters
Greepeace– and their actions against PKE importers in NZ
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