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Source: Greenpeace New Zealand

Greenpeace is applauding the Māori Party for its bold climate change policy, and encourages Co-Leader Debbie Ngārewa-Packer to make climate change a bottom line in any potential coalition negotiations following September’s election.

The Māori Party released its climate change policy at Pariroa Pā in South Taranaki today. The plan includes commitments to phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, bring agricultural emissions into the ETS, set up a fund to support Māori farmers to transition to regenerative agriculture, ban new onshore oil and gas permits, withdraw existing exploration permits within five years, establish a national Māori strategy for renewable energy and to increase investments in grassroots clean energy projects.

Greenpeace Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman, has welcomed the policy, saying:

“Climate change demands that we are bold, that we develop policy that meets the demands of the low carbon future rather than bends to the demands of the high carbon polluters of the present. And this policy is bold.

“The Australian bushfires and this autumn’s droughts are a stark reminder that we’re experiencing a climate crisis. We need visionary political leadership to phase fossil fuels and  replace them with clean energy.

“It’s great to see the Māori Party committing to ban new onshore oil and gas exploration permits and to phase out existing permits. Greenpeace remembers how Māori have been in the front lines of opposition to new oil and gas exploration, and this policy honours that struggle.

“It’s also great to see the Party commit to a five year phase out of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. These chemicals are driving the surge in climate and water pollution coming out of New Zealand farms in recent decades. And the support in the policy for Māori farmers to transition to regenerative agriculture is the other side of the coin.

“The policy to include agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme is also welcome. Price signals matter, and the decision by the current and previous Governments to exclude agriculture from the ETS was a sellout of future generations.” 

Norman also welcomed the commitment to increase grassroots renewable energy projects.

“New technologies like solar, wind and batteries allow us to power our homes, businesses, marae and transport systems with energy made right in our communities, owned by the people who use it.”

While Greenpeace has applauded the policy, Norman is urging the Māori Party to make climate change and renewable energy a non-negotiable bottom line in any potential coalition agreement.

“Climate change doesn’t negotiate. We need political leaders that will stand firm in their commitment to safeguard the natural world that we all depend on.”

Greenpeace is calling on all political parties to commit to using the Covid-19 recovery as a springboard from which to build back better and address the worsening climate and environmental crises. 

“Today’s young people will need to deal with the debt from our economic response to Covid-19. We must build back in ways that create a more secure and resilient future for our children.”