As many world leaders and countries continue to deny the phenomenon of Climate Change even though thousands of scientists continue to present glaring facts confirming the same, New Zealand has set the example of an ideal nation on Thursday by passing the bill on reducing its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. The legislation, which was supported on both sides of the political divide, mandates that the country should produce no greenhouse-gases- except methane- by the middle of the century, as part of New Zealand’s bid to meet its Paris climate accord commitments.
Methane- a by-product of the key agricultural sector- will be cut by 24-47 percent over the same time frame. The bill establishes an independent Climate Change Commission to advise the government on how to achieve its targets and to produce “carbon budgets” every five years saying how many emissions will be allowed in that period.
“We are on the right side of history,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Undeniably, our sea levels are rising. Undeniably, we are experiencing extreme weather events. Undeniably, the science tells us the impact on flora and fauna- yes, also the spread of diseases in areas where we previously haven’t seen them,” she said.
“Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy… I hope means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history.” Prime Minister @jacindaardern gave her speech at the third and final reading of the Zero Carbon Bill today. 🌏👀⬇️ pic.twitter.com/GVf3TL3dxG
— New Zealand Labour (@nzlabour) November 7, 2019
“For too long politicians have passed the buck and caused uncertainty for everyone while the need for climate action was clear,” Ardern said. “This plan provides the primary sector with certainty and puts us shoulder-to-shoulder on a path to reduce emissions, with ongoing support to help with the plan such as the $229m sustainable land use investment.”
“This will reduce emissions by giving farmers the autonomy to plan to do so, and reward those who do,” she said.
New Zealand is one of 65 countries that have pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but not all have enshrined the target in law. The country of just under five million people has also committed to 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2035.