What is it and why is it important?
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that countries needed to keep global warming to under 1.5C in order to avoid catastrophic climate change.
The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is a piece of legislation that aims to address these warnings by codifying the reduction of New Zealand’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
It will help establish a framework that the Government can use to deliver clear, stable and balanced policies, in accordance with the Paris Agreement – a global agreement to combat the effects of climate change that New Zealand joined in 2015.
The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill would:
- Set greenhouse gas reduction targets into law and require that future governments continue these efforts into the future
- Set up the Climate Change Commission, an independent body that will advise and support the government to reach the targets
- Create a requirement that the government sets emission budgets every five years that will act as ‘stepping stones’ towards the ultimate goal of zero greenhouse gases by 2050
- Create a requirement that the government understands the risk of climate change (for example, rising sea levels) and produces plans to address these
If we’re going to protect future generations of Kiwis against the impacts of climate change, we need to take decisive and immediate action on our emissions targets, and this legislation will help us get there.