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Yes we can! New Zealand Green Party’s Climate Plan

At COP21 this December 2015 the international community will produce a new global climate agreement. Each nation must commit to ambitious domestic emissions reduction targets to achieve the global objective of limiting global temperature increase to less than 1.5°C with the benchmark of 2°C by 2030.

Sadly, New Zealand’s government has chosen to set one of the world’s weakest and most embarrassing climate targets, complaining that anything more than 11 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2030 would too difficult, largely due to New Zealand’s agriculture and forestry practices.  If other countries followed New Zealand’s lead, global warming would exceed 3–4°C leading to climate catastrophe and enormous human suffering.

They say we can’t do more.

The Green Party says, yes we can!

Yes We Can!

The New Zealand Green Party calls for a genuine cross-party consensus on climate policy and invites public and parliamentary dialogue on a new approach to climate policy.  This approach starts with asking questions in the right order.  That is, rather than beginning with the limiting question of “what’s the cost of change?”, the Green Party’s approach asks that recognising:

  1. our global goal of limiting warming under 2°C, what is our National Responsibility Level?  
    (our share of the global emissions budget)
  2. our share of the global effort, to what extent can we feasibly reduce our domestic emissions?
  3. our capacity and potential for emissions reduction, what policies could get us there? 
    (carbon price, sustainable policies, etc) 

Following this questioning, the Green Party found that New Zealand can achieve at least 40% reductions off 1990 gross levels by 2030, compared to the government’s woefully inadequate 11%.  

The Green Party proposes three economy-wide measures to achieve this 40% target:
  1. An independent Climate Commission to assess progress and provide guidance on emissions targets
  2. A Green Investment Bank to stimulate growth in a low emissions economy 
  3. A ‘Climate Tax Cut’ that puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions and recycles the revenue back to householders and businesses via tax credits.

Read the NZ Green Party’s Yes We Can! Climate Plan for a variety of policies that would achieve this goal.  Here’s a one-page brief.

For a deeper look at the research and method by which New Zealand could achieve an ambitious domestic emissions target within an appropriate share of the global budget, click the link.

The Green Party’s Climate Plan is about modernising New Zealand’s economy by encouraging investment in long-term sustainable jobs in industries that are growing.

There is much that can be done to ensure a just and fair transition to a low carbon economy, but it will require action from a government that genuinely cares about protecting what we love and transforming our economy and society for the better.  

As the world warms, the notion of continuing to do nothing must no longer be an option.  Everybody’s actions matter.

Can we achieve a climate agreement at COP21 that we can all feel proud of?

Yes, we can!

The Green Party is absolutely committed to action and challenges Governments around the globe to do the same.

11/01/2015 – 07:53


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