New Zealand passes climate change law

Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern, Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com

It’s a historic day for New Zealand with the Zero Carbon Bill passing in parliament with almost unanimous support.

The bill’s key targets for the country are to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gasses except biogenic methane (namely from plant waste and livestock) to net zero by 2050 and reduce gross emissions of biogenic methane within the range of 24 per cent and 47 per cent by 2050.

The bill also establishes an independent Climate Change Commission, which will advise the government on how to meet those targets.

Related article: 11,000 scientists warn: climate change isn’t just about temperature

Jacinda Ardern addressed the parliament upon the passing of the legislation, stating, “for this generation, this is our nuclear moment,” referring to The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act, which passed in 1987 (a year after Chernobyl).

“We have to start working beyond targets,” Ms Ardern said.

Related article: Shareholders urge BHP to cut ties with coal lobby groups

“We have to start working beyond aspiration. We have start moving beyond signs of hope and deliver signs of action. That is what this government is doing and proudly so.

“New Zealand will not be a slow follower.

“We are here because the world is warming, undeniably it is warming.

“I’m proud of the fact … we’re no longer having the debate over whether or not it is the case, we’re debating what to do about it.”