Fossil fuel reliant energy in the production and consumption of resources at Scott Base
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
In December of 2015, the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Paris meetings announced a commitment to restrict global climate change increase to 1.5%. Much of the scientific information that informed this decision came from research executed in Antarctica. It is now widely accepted amongst the scientific community that the main cause of climate change is from human activity – primarily the burning of fossil fuels. Our current lifestyle patterns, which we seem intent on increasing as a mark of success will have a dramatic, undesirable effect on the environment in which our great grandchildren will be expected to live. Reflecting the its obligations under the Antarctic Treaty and the Madrid Protocol, Antarctica NZ (ANZ) statement of intent shows its commitment to “…the highest standards of international environmental stewardship through our efforts to minimise environmental footprints...”. Due to the remote and extreme characteristics of the Antarctic environment, human activity in Antarctica is highly dependant on fossil fuel for both transport and generation of essential utilities such as water, heat and electricity. The volume of fuel consumed is dependant on the activities we do (how we do it and how much we do of it), and the mechanical efficiency in which we do them. Largely, the efficiency aspect is based in technology, which is financially, logistically and environmentally expensive to improve and often yields relatively small incremental improvement. Improvements from the activities we do and how we do them is much more flexible, can yield fast results, may be surprising cheap to obtain and yield a relatively large return. This report reviews the energy related initiatives at Antarctica NZ’s Scott Base on Ross Island and suggests a program that, if developed, could make the NZ Antarctic program a world leader in pro-active and effective carbon foot print reduction. A possible funding structure is also, suggested, that responds to varying year by year demands.