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Entire NZ communities may need to be uprooted due to rising sea levels and the government should start preparing for the financial impact now, says the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright. In her latest report on the impact of sea level rise, at least 9000 homes across the country are identified to be at risk. Finance Minister Bill English has rejected the call to start planning for the financial fallout.
The UN Climate Conference, which starts in Paris on November 30, will go ahead despite security concerns after terrorist attacks killed 129 people. Nick Rowley, from the University of Sydney, says the world community might now be more well disposed to helping achieve a clear, symbolic and positive success. Already there are positive signs that a global deal to combat rising temperatures will finally be nailed down. Radio NZ political reporter Chris Bramwell will be at the talks and has written a guide to what the conference is all about. Two days before the conference gets underway, the People's Climate March will take place in cities all over the world, including in 26 NZ locations. While the French Government has forbidden the march happening in Paris, organisers say it is now even more important for people around the world to come out onto the streets for the "biggest global march in history" to protest "on behalf of those who can't".
Some energy analysts say achieving 100% renewable electricity in NZ by 2050 is an aspirational goal but Belinda Storey, writing for Pure Advantage, says it's actually possible in less than a decade. Meridian Energy is trying to convince Genesis Energy to keep open two ageing gas and coal-fired electricity plants at the Huntly power station. If that doesn't happen it says a new wind farm is one of the options.
Green energy is now the second largest generator of electricity in the world, after coal, and is set to overtake the dirtiest fossil fuel in the early 2030s, according to the International Energy Agency. The Australian battery storage market is expected to "explode" in 2016, with the residential sector expected to grow 20-fold over the next 12 months. Findings from a US team of real estate appraisal experts and a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggest that adding solar panels to a home increases the home's value across six American states.
Idealog says emissions-free car travel is possible in NZ thanks to the growing network of charging stations and companies like Ecotricity supplying 100% renewable energy. Vector has launched the first rapid chargers in downtown Auckland. A revolutionary NZ electric car, capable of parking sideways, has gone into production. While the Otago Polytechnic associate professor, who is the brains behind the yet-to-be-named prototype, is keeping quiet about the details until next year you can see its parallel parking prowess in a short video on Stuff.