Strong sup­port for zero car­bon

The Northland Age - - Local News -

More than 15,000 in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions have had their say on the Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed Zero Car­bon Bill, and ac­cord­ing to a Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment sum­mary of sub­mis­sion themes, the great ma­jor­ity want to see it en­acted sooner rather than later.

Sec­re­tary for the En­vi­ron­ment Vicky Robert­son said the in­for­ma­tion the min­istry re­ceived was be­ing taken into ac­count as it de­vel­oped pol­icy ad­vice for min­is­ters about how New Zealand should re­spond to cli­mate change.

“A range of views were ex­pressed, from ev­ery part of so­ci­ety, and these are all be­ing care­fully con­sid­ered by min­is­ters as part of putting to­gether the pro­posed law and the most ap­pro­pri­ate tar­get,” Ms Robert­son said.

“Min­is­ters are also con­sid­er­ing re­cent re­ports on the tran­si­tion to a low emis­sions econ­omy from the Par­lia­men­tary Com­mis­sioner for the En­vi­ron­ment and the Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion, along with eco­nomic mod­el­ling, the lat­est science and other rel­e­vant re­ports.

“Set­ting a new tar­get in leg­is­la­tion as part of the Zero Car­bon Bill will give us cer­tainty about our long-term goals out to 2050, no mat­ter what gov­ern­ment is in power. From the re­sponses, it’s clear that New Zealan­ders un­der­stand that this pro­posed bill is crit­i­cal to New Zealand’s fu­ture,” Ms Robert­son said.

Ninety-one per cent of sub­mit­ters said they wanted a tar­get of nett zero emis­sions across all green­house gases by 2050 set in leg­is­la­tion now; 96 per cent sup­ported the es­tab­lish­ment of a Cli­mate Change Com­mis­sion, with an ad­vi­sory role to the gov­ern­ment; and 92 per cent thought the bill should in­clude pro­vi­sions to help New Zealand adapt to the ef­fects of cli­mate change.

“Through­out the sub­mis­sions and pub­lic meet­ings, we also heard that New Zealan­ders want cer­tainty about how we will re­spond to cli­mate change as a coun­try. This en­ables busi­ness and gov­ern­ment to in­vest and make ef­fec­tive de­ci­sions about how the tran­si­tion to a low emis­sions econ­omy will oc­cur,” Ms Robert­son added.

“Many sub­mit­ters also sup­ported the con­cept of a ‘just tran­si­tion’ that’s fair and in­clu­sive, and that gov­ern­ments, cur­rent and fu­ture, must sup­port those most af­fected by change.”

Sub­mis­sions had been re­ceived from busi­nesses, churches, iwi, other Ma¯ori groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions, com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions and young peo­ple. The ma­jor­ity were writ­ten, but some took the form of videos, art and poems.

As well as pub­lic meet­ings, the con­sul­ta­tion process had in­cluded work­ing with iwi and other Ma¯ori groups, tech­ni­cal work­shops with agri­cul­ture and in­dus­try and events to en­gage young peo­ple.

“The voices of young New Zealan­ders were par­tic­u­larly strong; they will be liv­ing through the im­pacts of our de­ci­sions by 2050,” Ms Robert­son said.

“It’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to know that the con­ver­sa­tion on the path to a low emis­sions econ­omy con­tin­ues. Peo­ple will have a chance to put for­ward their views on that as part of the Se­lect Com­mit­tee process early next year, af­ter the Zero Car­bon Bill is in­tro­duced in Par­lia­ment.”

The sub­mis­sions, and a sum­mary of them, can be found at www.mfe.govt.nz/ have-your-say-zero-car­bon.

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