Commissioner highlights need for climate plan
Speaking at the release of a report on oil and gas drilling today, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright highlighted the need for a Government plan to meet New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.
While the report focuses mainly on regulation around direct local environmental impacts, Dr Wright said that she considers climate change as the biggest environmental issue when it comes to extraction of fossil fuels.
Generation Zero spokesperson Paul Young agreed, saying: “The big issue here is that the push for more mining of fossil fuels is happening in the context where the Government has no plan whatsoever for transitioning to a low carbon economy.”
“Our recent report ‘A Challenge to Our Leaders’ revealed that New Zealand’s emissions are projected to grow on every possible measure under current policies, showing complete disregard for the Government’s own emissions targets.”
“The expected impact of current policies, according to the Ministry for the Environment, is just a 0.4% reduction by 2030 compared with doing absolutely nothing at all. In other words, it’s business as usual.”
In her report, Dr Wright also says the role of natural gas as a ‘transition fuel’ to a lower carbon economy is “very limited” in New Zealand and she “would much rather see a bigger focus on ‘green growth’ in this country”.
Mr Young: “The Government needs a plan to deliver on its emissions targets to show that it actually cares about the future young people will inherit. This election we’re calling on all political parties to commit to making one.”
Generation Zero’s report A Challenge to Our Leaders can be found at www.genzero.org.nz/challengetoourleaders