The Zero Carbon Bill passed its third and final reading through the New Zealand Parliament yesterday. Bipartisan support for the Bill will provide certainty for farmers about the framework for emissions, but sheep and beef farmers are disappointed the methane targets remain unchanged.
“We support many elements of the Zero Carbon Bill, however we remain unhappy with the 24-47 percent methane target range as this is based on an international report that clearly stated it should not be used on an individual country basis,” says Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd (B+LNZ).
“This range will mean that methane will be used to ‘cool’ the planet while other gases are just being asked to provide no additional warming – that’s not fair or equitable.
“We are absolutely committed to playing our role to address climate change. We have reduced our absolute emissions by 30 percent since 1990. We have signed up to He Waka Eke Noa through which we will continue this progress through establishing a farm-level approach to addressing our agricultural emissions and ensuring farmers get credit for the sequestration happening on their farms,” McIvor says.
“We welcome Minister James Shaw’s indications in the house yesterday that as part of the legislation, the Independent Climate Change Commission has the power to review the range as part of its process. Beef + Lamb New Zealand will continue to press for this to happen as soon as possible.”
The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said after the Bill passed through.
The Bill had nearly eleven thousand written and oral submissions. The Committee heard from parents, students, scientists, farmers, academics, health professionals, activists, iwi, local government and many more.
“The budgets provide the pathway towards the 2050 target, and confidence for New Zealanders that we are moving towards a more climate-resilient future,” said Shaw.
The Zero Carbon Act is a key part of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change.
Other initiatives include:
- Strengthening Emissions Trading Scheme and inclusion of agriculture in emissions pricing by 2025
- Planting one billion trees by 2028
- Stopped issuing any new permits for offshore oil and gas exploration.
- Investing in green hydrogen, biofuels with the goal of 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035.
- Proposals to make electric and cleaner cars more affordable.
- Record investments in public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure.
- Establishment of a $100m Green Investment Fund