New Zealand: Prime Minister announces formulation of Zero Carbon Act, climate change commission

18 December 2017 | Adaptation

The Government of New Zealand will start public consultation in May 2018 to lay the groundwork for a Zero Carbon Act and establish an independent climate change commission.

And it will set up an Interim Climate Change Committee to do groundwork while the commission is being set up.

Speaking at her post-Cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with Climate Change Minister James Shaw alongside her, said a Zero Carbon Bill would be introduced by October 2018.

Shaw said the framework for a net zero emissions economy by 2050 should be in place by the end of the parliamentary term.

"Cabinet has agreed to a process of consultation in 2018, before the Zero Carbon Bill is introduced," Shaw said today.

"I'm looking forward to engaging in conversations with New Zealanders next year as together we design the framework for New Zealand to transition to a sustainable economy.

"This is a big task and the transition will take decades. Climate change challenges us to make fundamental changes to our economy and we have a moral responsibility to do that in a way that brings people and communities along with us."

Labour's agreements with NZ First and the Greens both commit to introducing a Zero Carbon Act and an independent Climate Commission, with the former agreement stating that the policies should be based on the recommendations of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

The recommendations from commissioner's report, released in July this year, included a Zero Carbon Act to install a goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions, and a legal requirement to meet that target.

"Putting our new climate change target into law will hold the Government to account and place New Zealand in a small group of countries who aspire to net-zero emissions in the next few decades," Shaw said.

"A Zero Carbon Act provides the certainty businesses need to make long-term investment decisions, and it will drive the growth and innovation we need."

The consultation process would involve M?ori, business, and other sectors of the economy.



Source: NZ Herald