Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk
Greenpeace climate campaigner Kate Simcock has applauded the Greens for their climate policy announced yesterday.
“It’s exactly the sort of response to the biggest threat facing humanity that we need to see from our leaders,” she said.
“All political parties should be adopting this policy, aiming for New Zealand to have 100 percent renewable electricity, to be carbon neutral by 2050, and with clear legislative plans to get us there.”
The policy, announced by leader James Shaw at a Green Party event in Auckland yesterday afternoon, includes a Kiwi Climate Fund, a ban on new coal mines and fracking, an end to drilling for deep sea oil and gas, major investment in sustainable transport and ecological agriculture, and significant afforestation.
“After seeing climate policy from Labour and the Greens, it’s now clear that Jacinda has the talk, but Greens have the walk” Simcock said.
“While Labour’s climate policy, released on Friday, has the bones of a good climate policy, and also aims for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050, it lacks the Greens’ will to immediately put a stop to polluting activities, like burning oil, coal, and gas, that we know are the driving force behind climate change.”
“It’s pretty disappointing that Labour can’t just commit to killing National’s deep sea oil exploration programme. The industry is on its last legs anyway, and we don’t need a climate commission to tell us that this is the frontier oil that would tip our climate over the edge if it’s burnt.
Oil industry must have no future
Simcock said that for New Zealand and the globe to have a future, the oil industry must have no future.
“Government policy must actively hasten the end of oil,” she said.
“It was an inspiring moment when Jacinda Ardern compared climate change to New Zealand’s nuclear-free movement, but it remains to be seen if she has the courage and the will to back it up with action”
“Climate change is threatening our very survival. It affects all life on Earth, and it is getting a whole lot worse. If we don’t act now, we face a hellish existence.”
“The Greens on the other hand, should be applauded for their climate policy. If passed into legislation, it would position New Zealand as a world leader on tackling climate change, and it would give us the hope of a future that we truly can say is clean and green.”
Key points of the Green Party’s Kiwi Climate Fund by 2020 are expected to be:
• $40 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions.
• $6 per tonne of nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture.
• $3 per tonne of methane emissions from agriculture.
• $40 guaranteed payment for each tonne of carbon sequestered by planting trees.
The previous climate change policy had only included the dairying sector, reports The New Zealand Herald, and now captures all agriculture sectors. The party said it expected charges on dairy pollution to be about the same under the new policy, after a nitrogen levy is factored in.
Previously the Greens had called for an initial price on carbon of $25 per tonne on CO2 equivalent emissions for all sectors except agriculture, which would pay $12.50.