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Student climate change strike gets backing from Gov Minister

Climate Change Minister James Shaw is backing students who plan to bunk school next week to protest against climate change-inaction.

Mr Shaw told TVNZ 1’s Q+A programme, “These kids are fighting for their futures. You know, I’ll be 77 years old in the year 2050, right, but they will be in the middle of their careers. They’ll have kids of their own. They’ll be worried about the world that their kids are growing up in. So I think they have every right to fight for their future.”

In Australia and the UK, Government Ministers have criticised students who have taken time off school to strike.

But Minister Shaw says if the protest was held on a weekend no one would notice. He says he’ll meet with the students who come to Parliament on the day of the school strike for climate on the 15TH of March.

Zero Carbon Bill

Mr Shaw says the Zero Carbon Bill will be introduced in the next couple of months and he hopes to see it pass this year.

“It is later being introduced than I had originally intended and that is because we are trying really hard to build cross-party consensus right across the house. We think that is important This is important because this has got to last us for thirty years or longer and it’s got to survive multiple changes of government.”

“All parties have got issues with various parts of it. The good news is that we are all agreed on the main thrust of it and we are really just arguing out at the edges at the moment. You will see it in the next couple of months.”

He confirmed the proposed Climate Change Commission won’t be independent of government:

‘If you look at the public submissions that came through when we did the consultation last year the overwhelming majority of those said look the issues here, you know there are big scientific issues which the Commission should rightly handle but there are also big economic and political issues and it’s ultimately parliament’s role to make those big calls and so we’re building that principal into the design of the legislation.’

He is adamant that the Government has been upfront about the costs of transition: “I believe that our economy will be stronger as a result of this, not weaker.”

“I do think that we can do it, and it is going to take all of us, and it is going to take everything we’ve got.”

GM & Climate Change

When pressed on whether he would be open to the use of genetic modification to help combat climate change, Minister Shaw told Corin Dann, “I want to see what the science says about that and what the Science Ethics Committee would say about that. I would be led by the science on it.”


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