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Public Policy Seminars
The Motu Public Policy Seminar series provides a forum for informed debate on important public policy issues. Through the series, we aim to make make the latest economic research more accessible to inform policy debates in New Zealand. Our seminars are accessible to a wide audience, and are attended by people from diverse backgrounds who want to stay informed on economic, social and public policy research. The seminars are presented by the Motu Senior Fellows and Affiliates, as well as other top visiting academics from within New Zealand or around the world. These seminars are free to the public, and there is no need to register to attend. More information about previous seminars, including slides and associated papers, is available at the Past Public Policy Seminars page.
You can sign up here to receive email invitations to either our Wellington or Auckland seminars.
Our Public Policy Seminar Series is generously sponsored by Martin Jenkins, The Treasury, Statistics New Zealand, and the Auckland Policy Office.
Upcoming Seminar: Life after Kyoto: How New Zealand can effectively help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries
Speaker: Dr Suzi Kerr, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
When: 20 February 2013, 12.30-2.00pm
Where: Spectrum Theatre, BP House, corner of Customhouse Quay and Johnston St, Wellington
Without effective developing country participation in climate mitigation it will be impossible to meet global concentration and climate change targets. However, developing countries are unwilling and, in many cases, unable to bear the mitigation cost alone. They need huge transfers of resources - financial, knowledge, technology, and capability - from industrialised countries. At the same time, New Zealanders want to make a meaningful contribution to the global climate mitigation effort and face rapidly rising costs of mitigation at home. We need to fund mitigation / buy emission units from developing countries. The Kyoto Protocol offered one approach to coordinating international mitigation but has run into many challenges. New Zealand’s emissions trading system that was designed to respond to Kyoto is now very weak; prices are low and the emission units available for us to buy are of low quality. Many key industrialised country emitters have dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol, and it has been unable to adapt to involve developing countries in more meaningful ways. The key existing approach to funding developing country mitigation, the ‘Clean Development Mechanism’ is clumsy, has high transaction costs, focuses on a few large countries and has low environmental integrity. New efforts are now emerging at the international level (top down) and at the national or regional level (bottom up). In this new world it is hard to gauge the seriousness of efforts but it is certain that they are insufficient and poorly coordinated. A large part of these problems is inherent to the challenge of getting seven billion people to cooperate on an issue where costs fall on those who fund mitigation but all gain the benefits - no effort will fully escape this difficulty. How can we, as a globe, do better, and what could New Zealand’s role be in that? This presentation will draw on recent work within the agricultural sector in New Zealand, as well as work in Chile, Colombia, Korea and at a more fundamental conceptual level to propose some new ways forward for New Zealand and others to effectively promote mitigation action in developing countries.
Watch a short film “The New Zealand Farming Story: Tackling Agricultural Emissions”
& read Motu Working Paper “Cooperation to Reduce Developing Country Emissions”
Suzi founded Motu with Dave Maré in 1998. She graduated from Harvard University in 1995 with a PhD in Economics, was an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland between 1995 and 1998, and a Visiting Professor at Stanford in 2009/10. She has been a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Resources for the Future. In 2010 Suzi was awarded the NZIER Economics Award for her work in environmental regulation. Suzi’s research empirically and theoretically investigates environmental markets with emphasis on climate change regulation,greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon sequestration related to land use in New Zealand and the tropics. Her recent work has applied these tools to the problem of water quality in Lake Rotorua, the design of the Emissions Trading System and the design of emissions trading and avoided deforestation policies in developing countries.