Aotearoa may be the first country ever to legislate a 1.5C target
WWF-New Zealand celebrates today’s announcement of the Zero Carbon Act. Now, its time for New Zealanders and government to step up and introduce the new law’s 2050 target in Select Committee.
The government today released the details of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Bill, commonly known as the Zero Carbon Act.
WWF-New Zealand climate change programme manager, David Tong, said, “This is a huge step forward for climate policy in New Zealand – and towards unlocking a just transition to a safe climate future where New Zealand’s people and ecosystems can flourish.
"This new law gives New Zealand a unique opportunity to enshrine the Paris Agreement goal of keeping warming this century below 1.5C in law. Our emissions continue to rise and without this legislation, the consequences for New Zealand people and nature, will be far, far worse. Last year’s IPCC report showed the catastrophic consequences if we do not get to net zero emissions and limit warming to 1.5C.
“WWF works all over the world and we have not been able to identify any other country that has expressly adopted this target into law. We have the opportunity to show global leadership in confronting the climate crisis. We agree with the Prime Minister, this is our moral duty.
“For the last three years, WWF has worked closely with youth organization Generation Zero to back their call for cross party consensus on this new law. Now, it’s finally happening.
“What the government released today isn’t quite everything we have called for though. Critically, it does not contain an overall 2050 target of net zero emissions, all gases. When the government consulted New Zealanders last year, 91% of the New Zealanders who submitted called for a net zero all gases target.
“Many businesses also support a net zero all gases target. Last year, we delivered an open letter signed by over 200 Kiwi businesses, community groups, and leaders, supporting the government’s then pledge to set a net zero emissions target.
“Soon, the government will be consulting New Zealanders on the text of the Zero Carbon Act. We encourage everyone, young and old, from Cape Reinga to Rakiura to make their voices heard. Today’s announcement shows that together, it’s possible for people to make political parties listen and act on climate change, so let’s keep making our voices heard.