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Source: Oxfam New Zealand

Following the New Zealand government’s announcement on the Zero Carbon Bill this morning, Oxfam is celebrating the move towards putting critical action on climate change into law. 

Today, the government published the details of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Bill, a key step in New Zealand’s contribution to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees.

Oxfam New Zealand’s Advocacy and Campaigns Director Dr. Joanna Spratt said: “This is a milestone moment for New Zealand, and an encouraging step forward for the many communities around the Pacific who for too long have been looking down the barrel of inaction on climate change. 

“We know the hard work that has gone into drafting this Bill, with collaboration from across the political spectrum, and it is truly encouraging to see the direction it is taking. 

“New Zealand is moving to become a global leader in the fight against climate change. To do that we need to test our mettle by including strong targets for net zero greenhouse gases in the Zero Carbon Bill.

“During the submission period for the Bill, 9 out of 10 of respondents said they wanted a target set in legislation of zero net emissions across all greenhouse gases by 2050. Crucially, this is not contained in the information released by government today.

“The IPCC report published last year has shown us exactly the dystopic future that we face if we do not get to net zero emissions and limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Through our work in the Pacific, Oxfam has seen the consequences first-hand as people are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Sea-level rise,

ocean acidification, prolonged droughts and super-charged cyclones are all now affecting their ability to make a living and feed their families. 

“It’s no surprise that it was local Pacific climate-change activists and Pacific political leaders that worked to ensure the 1.5-degree limit went into the Paris Agreement in 2015.

“This Bill is a win for all New Zealanders who want progress towards a safer climate future for our children. It also shows that members of the public can make their voices heard on climate change. 

“We are now at a crucial point, where every single voice is needed to protect our future. Soon the government will call for submissions on the text of the Zero Carbon Bill and everyone should have their say on this to ensure strong, stanch targets are set and our future is protected.” 

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