New Zealand Wins Global Praise for ‘Historic’ Law to Bring Net Carbon Emissions to Zero by 2050

Posted by on November 8, 2019 in Eco-Friendly, Environment with 1 Comment

By Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams

The New Zealand Parliament earned worldwide praise Thursday for its near-unanimous passage of the “historic” Zero Carbon Act, which aims to combat the global climate crisis by reducing net carbon emissions to zero and drastically cutting methane pollution by 2050.

Although spearheaded by the leftist government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the bill was backed by the country’s various political parties and passed 119-to-1. “Today, we have made a choice that I am proud of, that will leave a legacy, and that I hope means the next generation will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history,” Ardern told Parliament.

The Zero Carbon Act was crafted to help New Zealand meet the main goal of the 2015 Paris climate accord: limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The legislation will create an independent Climate Change Commission to advise the government on meeting its reduction targets, which include slashing methane emissions 24-47% by 2050.

“This is a historic piece of legislation and is the centerpiece for meaningful climate change action in New Zealand,” declared James Shaw, the country’s climate minister. “Climate change is the defining long-term issue of our generation that successive governments have failed to address.”

“We’ve led the world before in nuclear disarmament and in votes for women, now we are leading again,” Shaw said. “The budgets provide the pathway towards the 2050 target and confidence for New Zealanders that we are moving towards a more climate-resilient future.”


In a series of tweets, Oxfam New Zealand campaigns coordinator Alex Johnston called the bill’s passage a “historic moment, and a huge step-up for the country.”

“Now continues the work to actually cut our pollution, and do that in a transformative and just way,” he added. “But this is a huge win for so many people that have driven this from a concept to piece of legislation.”

Johnston highlighted the work of activists and groups that fought for the legislation, including the youth wings of the Green and Labour parties, the #SchoolStrike4Climate movement, Generation Zero, Action Station, Forest & Bird, World Vision, Tearfund, ChildFund, the Church Climate Network, and WWF-New Zealand.

In a statement celebrating the vote, WWF-New Zealand climate change program manager David Tong said that “we are thrilled Parliament heard our call and passed the Zero Carbon Act. Together, they crossed party lines to unify for our environment.”

“This means businesses and people can now work together on a stable foundation to future proof Aotearoa from the climate crisis,” Tong added, using the Māori name for New Zealand. “Together, it’s possible.”

Tong noted that “over 215 New Zealand businesses, community groups, and leaders joined the public to make their voices heard by calling for cross-party consensus.”

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson congratulated “Generation Zero and all of the people who worked so hard to get the Zero Carbon Act across the line” and said now “the government can get to work on introducing policies to cut climate pollution.”

“Climate change won’t be fixed by the Zero Carbon Act alone,” Larsson continued. “The government must now implement bold and courageous policies that will roll out heaps of new solar and wind energy, replace dirty transport with clean alternatives, and support farmers to transition from industrial to regenerative agriculture.”

Outside of New Zealand, the legislation’s passage was also welcomed by Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“Congratulations to New Zealand for passing the Climate Change Response (Zero-Carbon) Amendment Bill which aims to fulfill the objectives of the #ParisAgreement,” she tweeted. “It is heartwarming and inspiring to see such leadership as we head into #COP25 & #COP26.”

World leaders will come together for COP25—a climate conference scheduled to begin on Dec. 2 in Madrid, Spain—to discuss their commitments under the Paris accord.

New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Act garnered global attention Thursday not only for its climate provisions but also because of a viral video clip of 25-year-old Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick delivering a speech in favor of the legislation.

“In the year 2050, I will be 56 years old. Yet, right now, the average age of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old,” Swarbrick said as someone off-camera heckled her. Apparently unfazed, Swarbrick quipped, “OK Boomer”— a meme popular among Millennials and Generation Z—then continued her speech.

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share it widely.

Read more great articles at Common Dreams.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

1 Reader Comment

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. John P says:

    Gee, ZERO carbon. As we all exhale carbon dioxide, I guess this means zero humans?

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to a friend