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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3Q815608

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Managing carbon in times of political change: The rise and fall of the New Zealand Carbon Neutral Public Service program Open Access

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Author or creator
Birchall, S. Jeff
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
Carbon management
Policy
Public sector
Government
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Language
English
Place
Time
Description
The New Zealand (NZ) government, under Prime Minister Helen Clark’s Labour-led administration, sought in 2007 to move government core organisa- tions towards carbon neutrality. In late 2008, the NZ government changed from a Labour-led to a National-led (traditionally more conservative) government, and this saw a shift in its carbon neutrality agenda, including the dismantling of the NZ Carbon Neutral Public Service (CNPS) program. In this paper, we explore the experiences of public servants from the lead core agencies involved in the CNPS program to investigate the rise and fall of the program in a time of political change, and to assess the evidence for Cabinet Minister Dr Nick Smith’s rationale for program termination. Our research approach comprises a series of semi- structured interviews with the lead core agencies involved in the CNPS program, as well as the program champion, former Prime Minister, Helen Clark. We find that, in spite of initial challenges, the CNPS program appeared to deliver emission reductions, financial cost savings and a range of non-financial benefits. Whilst program costs would have likely outweighed the financial savings, due to high set- up and offsetting costs, we conclude that Nick Smith’s case is unsupported by the evidence.
Date created
2013
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3Q815608
License information
© 2014 Birchall, S. Jeff. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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Citation for previous publication
Birchall, SJ, Ball, A, Mason, I, Milne, M. (2013). Managing carbon in times of political change: The rise and fall of the New Zealand Carbon Neutral Public Service program. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 20(1), 63-78.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14486563.2012.720455

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File title: Birchall et al AJEM2012-P01 (Open Access UofA)
File author: Dr. Jeff Birchall
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