Landmark climate change bill goes to Parliament

The Government is today delivering landmark action on climate change – the biggest challenge facing the world and New Zealand.

“To address the long-term challenge of climate change, today we introduce the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill to Parliament,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“We know the climate is changing. People can see that. This legislation makes a start on tackling climate change because the alternative is the catastrophic cost of doing nothing.

“We’ve built a practical consensus across Government that creates a plan for the next 30 years, which provides the certainty industries need to get ahead.

“Carbon is the most important thing we need to tackle – that’s why we’ve taken a net zero carbon approach.

“Agriculture is incredibly important to New Zealand, but it also needs to be part of the solution. That is why we have listened to the science and also heard the industry and created a specific target for biogenic methane,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The critical thing is to do everything we can over the next 30 years to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and the Zero Carbon Bill makes that a legally binding objective,” Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said.

“The split gases approach we’ve agreed on is consistent with that commitment.

“The Bill sets a target for 10 per cent reduction in biological methane emissions by 2030, and aims for a provisional reduction ranging from 24 per cent to 47 per cent by 2050.

“That provisional range will be subject to review by the independent Climate Change Commission in 2024 to take account of changes in scientific knowledge and other possible developments.

“Throughout the process of bringing this Bill to Parliament, New Zealanders have made clear they want action on climate change.

“We now have legislation that will support the sort of changes we need to make to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, help limit global warming, and help avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“The independent Climate Change Commission, established by the Bill, will support our emissions reduction targets through advice, guidance, and regular five-yearly “emissions budgets”.

“New Zealanders have wanted leadership and consensus on climate change legislation.

“We have achieved that and I want to acknowledge our coalition partners and the National Party who have negotiated in good faith to help bring this proposed legislation to Parliament.

“The consensus bodes well for climate change legislation that will stand the test of time and deliver long-lasting commitment to action on climate change for future generations,” James Shaw said.