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Carbon budgeting legislation needed

Carbon budgeting legislation needed to live up to Paris Agreement
Generation Zero press release

Youth climate change organisation Generation Zero has reissued its call for carbon budgeting legislation following New Zealand’s signing of the Paris Agreement yesterday.

Spokesperson Nina Atkinson said: “Following the Paris Agreement, establishing a proper carbon budgeting process in New Zealand is more necessary than ever.”

“Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett’s recent comments about the need for a long-term plan for a low carbon economy are very encouraging.”

“Doing this properly will take time and resources, and needs to ultimately deliver the right policy and legal framework so that the plan is credible and durable.”

“The UK Climate Change Act is a model for how a plan like this can be created, enforced and monitored.”

Generation Zero called for New Zealand to adopt similar carbon budgeting legislation in its 2014 report, The Big Ask: One Key Step For Real Climate Action.

The UK process involves enshrining a 2050 emissions reduction target in law, setting 5-yearly carbon budgets in line with a least-cost pathway to the 2050 target, and mandates that the government produce regular plans showing how it will meet the carbon budgets.

Also critical to the process is the establishment of an independent climate commission (the UK Committee on Climate Change) which provides expert technical and policy analysis, recommends carbon budgets, and reports on the government’s progress.

“The process maintains flexibility on the ‘how’ but helps ensure the government of the day has a credible plan, and it’s a stepping stone to achieving consensus on how fast we need to decarbonise our economy,” said Ms Atkinson.

Professor Jim Skea, a founding member of the UK Committee on Climate Change, will be visiting New Zealand next week at the invitation of the Royal Society of New Zealand and delivering public talks in Wellington and Auckland. Details of Professor Jim Skea’s visit can be found at http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/events/solution-science/

“Climate change is the greatest threat facing us, and as young people we demand a plan that respects and protects our future,” said Ms Atkinson.


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